Likely election of comedian Zelenskiy will be the result of an anti-establishment vote

“There’s a 90% chance he’ll be a disaster, but I’m going to vote for him anyway,” said Alyona Sych, a 36-year-old nurse, strolling through Kyiv in the spring sunshine and explaining why she plans to vote for an untested actor and comedian in Ukraine’s presidential election. “I know 100% that the current guy is a disaster, so of course I’ll go for the 10% chance we could really change things.”

For three seasons of the popular Ukrainian television show Servant of the People, Volodymyr Zelenskiy has played a frustrated everyman teacher, implausibly propelled to the country’s presidency. Now he’s standing for the job for real, and most polls give him a commanding lead over the incumbent, Petro Poroshenko. By Sunday evening, Zelenskiy could have secured a fourth season as president, but his first one in real life.

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