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Media & internet in politics: The Ukraine’s Donald Trump ? – article from…January 10

Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays a schoolteacher accidentally elected president in popular TV show, now leads veteran politicians Poroshenko and Tymoshenko. The elections will be held Sunday. Some quotes from an old Bloomberg article:

Zelensky was also accused of being the puppet of oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, who owns 1+1 from de facto exile in Israel. There, Kolomoisky is waiting out attempts by the current Ukrainian government to hold him responsible for plundering Privatbank Commercial Bank PJSC — a bank nationalized in 2016 at a cost of more than $5 billion. (Kolomoisky’s lawyers, for their part, have denied the claims, saying they are politically motivated.)

Whether or not Kolomoisky is really behind Zelensky — both have denied it — the comedian knows how to give the people what they want.

He has advertised for team members, setting out one condition only: Candidates must have no political experience. He makes a point of never wearing a jacket. On his Facebook page, he has posted endearing videos of himself talking about his campaign and Ukraine’s future; in a calculated show of ineptitude, the videos are filmed with a vertically-oriented smartphone, so Facebook shows them with blurry margins.

Zelensky explains he won’t write a manifesto like old-time politicians do — because they all sound the same and the promises are never kept. Instead, he has asked Ukrainians to tell him what five problems they believe to be the biggest for the country; then, he proposes to crowdsource the solutions, too.

Direct democracy is a recurring theme with Zelensky. In a December interview, he described his solution to the war in eastern Ukraine: He’d let voters have the final word on a compromise with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read full article on Bloomberg