From Ukraine’s ‘Servant of the People’ to Merkel’s EU Future: EU’s Top Stories on April 20-21, 2019, Ranked (written for The European Views*)

The rise of Zelensky to Ukraine’s presidency has generated way too many question marks. Photo: TV grab from Zelensky’s Servant of the People show
(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)

The 10 EU news and developments from April 20 – 21, 2019, ranked in order of importance. (An experimental piece.)

Following are the top news stories from April 20 – 21, 2019, (Saturday & Sunday) concerning the European Union and its member states, with ranking and commentary by European Views journalist Ivan Dikov.

1. Comedian Zelensky’s Landslide Victory against Poroshenko in Ukraine’s Presidential Elections

Volodymyr Zelensky, an actor with no political experience, has become the new President of Ukraine, the second most populous former Soviet republic, which is ridden with corruption, and has been in an open conflict with its powerful neighbor Russia since 2014. A couple of years ago, Zelensky starred as the lead of his own TV series called “Servant of the People” in which a history teacher surprisingly becomes President, so his victory over incumbent Petro Poroshenko feels like a déjà vu.

Zelensky seems to have waged a parody of a campaign, hardly addressing concrete solutions to Ukraine’s many issues. And he stands accused of being a “puppet” for one of the country’s major oligarchs, Igor (Ihor) Kolomoisky. So his election means one thing for certain: despite steps towards the West, the administration of Petro Poroshenko has failed miserably at cracking down on high-level corruption and tackling poverty. Ukrainians are also understandably disappointed with the insufficient help from the West since the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution. The road to becoming a full-fledged Western country is extremely painful (ask the “new” EU member states in Eastern Europe), and since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has already been through a lot, so these sentiments are understandable.

It remains unclear if the actor-turned-President of Ukraine plans to return the second most important ex-Soviet republic in Moscow’s orbit. What’s indisputable is that Ukraine is hyper-important for the European Union, and not least because in 2013-2014 it became the first place in the world where people fought and died with the EU flag in their hands…

Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here

(311 words cited out of a total of 1,642 words)


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