The preliminary results from the exit polls suggest that Presidential candidate in the second round of Ukrainian elections Volodymyr Zelenskiy gains around 73.2% of votes with his opponent Petro Poroshenko gaining 25.3% of votes.
More detailed reports show that in western Ukraine, Zelenskiy won around 56.4% of local votes, while in the eastern parts of the country he received around 88% of total votes. His opponent received 43.6% and 12% respectively. The central and southern parts of the country also largely favoured Zelenskiy, who received 72.3% and 86% of the votes there respectively. The preliminary voter turnout was 57.55%, according to the Ukrainian Central Electoral Commission.
Commenting on his leading position in the first exit polls, Zelenskiy vowed he "will not let Ukrainians down". He also jokingly suggested renaming a group of comedians that he led for many years from Quarter 95 to Quarter 73, referring to his preliminary results in the elections. The comedian stressed that his victory in the election has "united" Ukrainian people.
In his first statement, Zelenskiy said that his "priority number one" would be the return of Ukrainian sailors who were arrested by Russia's FSB for violating the maritime border during an incident in the Kerch Strait.
Poroshenko on First Exit Polls
Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko, while addressing his supporters after the announcement of the exit poll results, said that one should "never give up". Poroshenko conceded defeat, but promised to remain in politics. The outgoing president also stated that he would assist the new president, who is a novice in politics, to become familiarised with how things work.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the initial results of the Ukrainian elections by stating that the country's citizens have shown their desire for changes in politics, both domestic and foreign.
"Now it is the turn of the new leadership of the country to understand and implement the aspirations of voters", the ministry added.
Ukraine held the second round of its presidential elections on 21 April after none of the candidates managed to secure the necessary amount of votes to win in the first round on 31 March. Zelenskiy gained 30.24 % of the vote in the first round of the elections, while Poroshenko received only 15.95 %.