Top Expert: Poroshenko Might Win! Zelensky Clown Candidacy Just Political Drama Spectacle!
Karen Shakhnazarov, director, Peoples Artist of Russia: Due to the fact I am a director, I see obvious drama in this election. And this is not a Ukrainian political engineer's drama. This is the work of much more skillful political engineers. Not that I say that Ukrainian political engineers are worse, they're just less experienced. If you remember, I assumed long ago that this election will be quite possibly won by Poroshenko. And you supported me back then by the way.
— And I still do.
— I must say that I haven't taken my words back yet. When I said this eight months ago, everyone kept saying that Poroshenko wouldn't get 0.5%.
Vadim, could you shut up for a moment? You're the only one here speaking!
As we can see, Poroshenko is entering the second round. You say this is a defeat, I say this is a victory. When you say he is so confident to announce it, I understand it. The most dangerous thing for him was not to go to the second round at all. I think Zelensky's appearance helped him get to the second round. It didn't hinder him. If not for Zelensky, then the voters would vote for Tymoshenko, for Boiko, and then Poroshenko would be pushed out of the second round. The voters who voted for Zelensky are not the people who split from Poroshenko. He took them from other candidates. So I think this is a well-directed play. I'm not saying that Poroshenko is going to win. I'm saying that it's highly likely to happen. They say Tymoshenko would appeal to her electorate to vote for one or the other. But I don't think appeals matter a lot, I think the voters will vote the way they want to.
If we have a closer look at the electoral programs, Tymoshenko has the same one that Poroshenko did. It's aimed at nationalists, at people who want to go to Europe, I mean they're all the same people. Why would they want to vote for Zelensky? Voters for Lyashko, Gritsenko, and all the rest of the candidates would potentially vote for Poroshenko rather than Zelensky. Because for the director who staged this election, it's important that it would have not just enormous violations, I don't think there were serious violations, it's important to prove that the election is legitimate. And if Poroshenko wins, it'll be recognized by the international community. In my mind, this is one big intricate play.
I'll say it again — some well-experienced, foreign political engineers are behind all of it. It's no coincidence that Poroshenko gained his best numbers in the Ukrainian diaspora. The diaspora voted for him. That's the West. The Ukrainian diaspora is very influential, especially in the USA and Canada.
There's another issue that was raised by the election. We always separate the Ukrainian people and the candidates. It doesn't work like that. The candidates are the reflection of the perplexed soul of Ukraine. I didn't see any pro-Russian candidate there. Even Mr. Boiko, for whom I have deep respect, isn't a pro-Russian candidate. He's more like a second Kuchma for Russia. It's like they turn to the West, and do it in a way that Russia would sponsor all of it — it would lower the oil prices because of the fraternal rhetoric and so on. So it would be the same. He's an even more cunning candidate. Obviously, there isn't a pro-Russian force in Ukraine today. In this regard, it's obvious to me, Russia should make itself clear about the undecided Ukrainian soul. We should divorce. We should divorce — unambiguously and in set terms. I mean not in the «I'll give you the house and go away with two shirts» sense. It's more like «I'll take the vacuum cleaner mom gave us and the flat iron dad gave us» sense.
We should find this distinction. It's obvious to me that no matter what the situation with Poroshenko will be, although I still think Poroshenko has a huge chance of winning, but it's obvious that Zelensky isn't better than Poroshenko in any capacity. It's obvious that he's… His only advantage for Russia is that Ukraine will be turning into a parliamentary republic.
— That's not the only advantage.
— I mean that in this situation, it's an advantage for Russia because Poroshenko is in control of power. I think the results of the election aren't determined yet. I think Poroshenko has a very big chance of winning the election. The fact that he's going to the second round is more of a win for him, rather than a defeat.
— I absolutely agree, 300%. We're of the same mind on this. He was so happy that evening. He wasn't competing with Zelensky. It was important for him to outlast Tymoshenko. It wasn't Zelensky that worried him. So I think, although Spiridon doesn't agree with me, you, I mean those who involved in Ukrainian politics, are so emotional in reasoning. We see the situation without any emotion. So, I think Poroshenko will start seriously working. He has something to offer. Technically. He exhausted all of the opportunities that he had in the first round. But the second round is the zero point. I can't say that I'm happy about it. But you can never write off the current president.
— I think the first round showed these policies aren't popular in Ukraine. They don't give anything to the Ukrainians. You see the main candidates, who are pro-European, pro-American, and pro-NATO, indeed, but they're not as anti-Russian as Poroshenko. Both Tymoshenko and Zelensky have made anti-Russian statements. This is the mainstream of Ukrainian politics. But they aren't as obsessed as Poroshenko. Poroshenko has nothing more to offer than that. So, I think in these conditions, when a considerable part the Ukrainian population, that is the Ukrainian people as a whole, voted against Poroshenko's anti-Russian line because it's the only thing he offers, he really doesn't have anything else, other candidates will take this into consideration. Ukraine is tired of Russophobia and anti-Russian politics. I hope it'll have its consequences after the election.
Karen Shakhnazarov: Spiridon, I don't think Poroshenko will carry out any large-scale provocations. I agree with Vladimir on the part about Tymoshenko. It's no coincidence that she made that rapid announcement that she recognized the election result. Someone from abroad had a talk with her. The same is for Poroshenko. The West doesn't need to make any provocations because it'll lead to the destabilization of the election. In general, either candidate would do just fine for them. I think they like Poroshenko more. I'm not saying he'll win but there's a great chance that he'll win. But Zelensky suits them as well. Alexey, I don't agree with the part that the election didn't show an anti-Russian mood in general. They're not pro-Russian. You said all of them are leaning towards NATO and Europe. But what good does it do Russia if Ukraine joins NATO? And they voted for that. We need to admit one thing…
— Joining NATO and the Black Sea provocations are different things!
— Let me finish first. In this regard, I agree with Vladimir. I said it as well. We should get rid of illusions. We should divorce. We should divorce, split all of the assets, and move to separate houses. Brothers can split. Maybe they will be friends again. But now, this is only bad for us. We're sponsoring them all the time. I think we've made a huge profit by not giving them money over the last five years. We'd been sponsoring Ukraine for 30 years! Yes, Vasily, we reduced the prices!
— Let Karen say what he has to say!
— Every time I went to Ukraine, I heard one thing — «Russia needs us!» That is the illusion that permeated everything in Ukraine. We should divorce, that's all. So, I think, in this regard, we should make ourselves clear about the election itself. We have grounds for not recognizing it. I don't see any reason why we should. What's the point? If we don't recognize it, it doesn't mean that we can't speak to them at all. Moreover, now, when the Treaty of Amity is over, that would be a strong move. We should determine our position on Donetsk and Luhansk. It's time — people have been living there in such conditions for five years. We should take some measures in this regard. This is the very moment that it would be appropriate. That can make them turn their head around. Then, maybe pro-Russian forces will appear there.