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The scandal “certainly undermines” the message the president has tried to get across, said Alyona Getmanchuck, director of the Kiev-Based think tank New Europe Center.
“In a country where accusations of bribery and fraud are typical election-season fare, accusations of corruption are playing an unusually prominent role”.
She noted that Poroshenko — who once famously proclaimed that he would “cut off the hands” of anyone caught stealing from the military, and oversaw a massive increase in defense spending, from about $3.3 billion in 2014 to roughly $7.8 billion this year — has portrayed the reform of the Ukrainian army as one of his most important legacies.
Whether the allegations will be enough to derail his campaign is still unclear. In a country where accusations of bribery and fraud are typical election-season fare, accusations of corruption are playing an unusually prominent role. No candidate has emerged unbesmirched.
Zelenskiy likely stands to benefit from the recent scandals, “as well as those opposition candidates who effectively sell Ukrainians the idea that the current political elite successfully make money on war,” said Getmanchuk at the New Europe Center.
“With Poroshenko’s party in control of parliament, any bill calling for him to be impeached is highly unlikely to pass”.