Zelensky, Poroshenko get on their knees during presidential debate

Zelensky, Poroshenko get on their knees during presidential debate

Zelensky, Poroshenko get on their knees during presidential debate

Zelenskiy further noted that Ukraine "is heading to Europe", and vowed to defend the European choice of Ukrainians in the event of his victory in the second round of presidential elections.

Volodymyr Zelensky, a presidential candidate of Ukraine, says that such achievements as visa-free travel for Ukrainians and the Ukrainian language do not belong to incumbent Petro Poroshenko only, while the Tomos, a historic document granting the Orthodox Church in Ukraine independence, is an achievement, first of all, of ex-head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Patriarch of Kyiv and all of Russia-Ukraine Filaret.

"I am not your opponent, I am your verdict", Zelenskiy said during debates with Poroshenko at Kiev's Olimpiysky stadium. "I'm just an ordinary person who has come to break the system".

The actor said he voted for Poroshenko five years ago but later realized that "I made a mistake, we made a mistake".

"I am not a politician", said Zelensky, who spoke first. "I'm the result of your promises and your mistakes".

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But any collegiality ended there as the challenger, who plays a oligarch-fighting president in a hit television show, accused the incumbent of corruption and cronyism.

Zelenskiy sought to turn the tables on Poroshenko, accusing him of maintaining backdoor channels with the Kremlin and continuing to market his candy in Russian Federation despite the bitter tug-of-war between the two neighbors. Zelenskiy said, referring to the country's sharp plunge in living standards since the 2014 vote. "How did it turn out that Ukraine is the poorest country with the richest president?"

Zelensky added that he had not visited Russian Federation since 2014. He delivered his lines with a lot more aggression, attacking Zelensky for his lack of experience and "incompetence", which would make him a weak president and a commander-in-chief incapable of standing strong against the terrifying Vladimir Putin. "Let Zelenskiy give it a try, he has done it well in the movies".

Zelensky claimed 30.24 percent in the first round of the election on March 31, beating Poroshenko with an nearly twofold advantage (15.95 percent). The poll of 3,000 people had a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.

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