The main political event of 2019 in Ukraine will be the presidential elections scheduled for March 31. The official election campaign started on the last day of 2018. According to opinion polls, the main contenders for the presidency will be the current president Petro Poroshenko, the leader of the Batkivshchyna party, Yulia Tymoshenko, and the former head of the Opposition bloc, Yuriy Boyko. In addition, the presidential chair may take showman Vladimir Zelensky - for him ready to vote 14.6% of the electorate. Such data are contained in the results of a survey conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology published in early December 2018. At the same time, according to the same poll, 21.2% of voters intend to support Tymoshenko, 11.6% - Poroshenko and 11% - Boyko.

About his intention to take part in the presidential elections in Ukraine, showman Vladimir Zelensky said in a pre-New Year address to the audience of 1 + 1 TV channel: “Everyone has asked me for a long time:“ Are you going? Do not go? ”You know, unlike our“ great ”politicians, I did not want to promise you in vain. And now, a few minutes before the New Year, I will promise you something - and I will immediately fulfill it. Dear Ukrainians, I promise you to go to the presidents of Ukraine and immediately fulfill: I go to the presidents of Ukraine. Let's do it together. ”

“We haven't decided on the favorite”

The RT source in the Popular Front party believes that the upcoming election campaign could be one of the “dirtiest” in the entire history of independent Ukraine.

“Most of the population has not decided on their favorite and, judging by the results of the polls, does not support any of the presidential candidates. Wins the one who gets the minimum superiority over the competitor. Can you imagine what kind of struggle will begin as early as January and what can voters know about all participants in the race? ”The interlocutor notes.

Moreover, Western partners of Ukraine can have a strong influence on the results of the vote, experts say. As Andrei Suzdaltsev, deputy dean of the faculty of world economics and world politics at HSE, emphasized in an interview with RT, Washington is likely to support the election of Petro Poroshenko.

“In fact, we are not talking about any election. Obviously, the Americans will have to come up with a formula for how to leave Poroshenko in power and legitimize his second term. At the same time, such actions can provoke an even deeper crisis in Ukraine, ”says Suzdaltsev.

  • According to opinion polls, among possible contenders for the presidency of Ukraine, Y. Tymoshenko, V. Zelensky, Y. Boyko and P. Poroshenko are the most popular among the population
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The RT source in the Batkivshchyna party suggested that provocations against Russia, such as those that occurred on November 25, 2018 in the Kerch Strait, will be observed until the voting day.

Analysts believe that the outcome of the presidential campaign will largely depend on the outcome of the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 27.

“Some politicians take part in the presidential race not because they really expect to occupy the highest post in the country, but only because they are trying to attract attention to themselves once again to participate in parliamentary elections. For example, Vladimir Zelensky and his “Servant of the People” party have high chances to get into parliament. It is possible that the singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk (the leader of the rock group Okean Elzy. - RT ) will announce the creation of his party. But even if Petro Poroshenko wins the election, he will not have a majority in the Verkhovna Rada. In this scenario, Yulia Tymoshenko has good chances to become prime minister, ”explained a RT source in the Self-Help party.

According to the survey of the sociological group “Rating”, the results of which were published at the end of December 2018, 21.7% of the determined respondents would cast their votes for the Batkivshchyna party, 12.4% for the Servant of the People party, 9, 6% - for the PPO, 9.5% - for the Oppoblock, 7.8% each - for the “Civic Position” and for the Radical Party.

According to the forecast of the interlocutor of RT from the Batkivshchyna party, the future leadership of the country will continue the current foreign policy course and will bet on the intensification of the conflict with Russia.

"Under the yoke of power"

Almost immediately after summing up the results of the presidential campaign - April 1 - the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, which the Verkhovna Rada decided not to renew in early December, will expire.

This document was signed by Russia and Ukraine in May 1997, and entered into force in April 1999.

“Firstly, this treaty proclaimed a common strategic partnership between the countries. Secondly, this document became the basis for many other agreements. In particular, in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. It was provided for close economic cooperation between countries, and each of the parties pledged not to join with other states that would contribute to the deterioration of the economic situation of one of the partners. There were spelled out agreements on the functioning of languages ​​in the territory of the country in which Ukraine was obliged to develop the Russian language. But we see that all of the above has not been fulfilled by Ukraine for a long time, ”said Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries, in an interview with RT.

According to him, the termination of the “big contract” may lead to the refusal of Ukraine from other agreements.

“Cancellation of the friendship agreement does not automatically cancel the agreement, for example, on the Sea of ​​Azov, like many other agreements. Some of them, having a reference to the “big treaty”, were nevertheless terminated on the initiative of Ukraine. Or laws were passed inside the country that contradicted the agreement with Russia. For example, the law on language. Thus, due to the termination of the treaty of friendship, Ukraine will continue to break smaller agreements, ”Zharikhin suggested in an interview with RT.

As Andrei Koshkin, Head of the Department of Political Science and Sociology of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, noted in a conversation with RT, Kiev is happy to have the opportunity to inconvenience "two fraternal peoples of Ukraine and Russia."

“They call it a gap to increase the pressure phase. The current Kiev government and those deputies who represent the people, in fact, with a sense of sadism, emphasize this, are called the merit of the year. Russophobic policy flourishes in their country. And it is extremely painful for the Ukrainian people to be under the yoke of power. But now the situation looks like this, ”he said.

"Wants to make history"

On January 5, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople signed a tomos about autocephaly of the new Ukrainian church structure - the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The religious schism is another “mainstream” initiative of the Kiev authorities.

According to a RT source in the presidential administration of the republic, Ukraine "provokes church war."

“The head of Ukraine will bid in his election campaign for the creation of a new Ukrainian church. The president wants to go down in history. He personally flew to Istanbul for talks with the Ecumenical Patriarch, and then handed him an architectural monument - St. Andrew’s Church, ”the interlocutor of RT emphasizes.

  • In the building of the Verkhovna Rada
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  • © Valentyn Ogirenko

The RT source in the Radical Party noted that the date for the presentation of the tomos was not chosen by chance.

“Christmas Eve was chosen to“ prick ”the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and Russia even more,” he says.

According to the deputy from the Opposition bloc, Vadim Novinsky, in the near future the religious schism in Ukraine will deepen.

“For the next 100–200 years, the unity of Orthodoxy is out of the question. Here there are exclusively political motives from both the Ukrainian side and the ecumenical patriarch, ”the Novino press service quoted the Opposition Bloc as saying.

The RT source in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra believes that many churches of the Moscow Patriarchate can forcibly withdraw to a new Ukrainian church. The interlocutor of RT suggested that against all those who would disagree with such a decision, various pressure mechanisms are involved.

“For example, they will call for interrogation to the Security Service of Ukraine, as it happens in the monastery. In some cases they can connect radicals, ”predicts a representative of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

According to him, in the coming year, the Ukrainian authorities will do everything possible to eliminate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The first step, from the point of view of the interlocutor of RT, can be a forced change of name at the request of the Verkhovna Rada.

“All these steps can lead to the worst - to open confrontation. And what will power do in this case? One gets the impression that they are sitting on a powder keg, ”he says.

On the eve of the onset of the new year, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia called on believers to pray for "brothers and sisters of the Russian Church in Ukraine" for whom difficult times are now.

“Let us hope that all the disorders and all this disorder will pass and no forces will destroy the spiritual unity of the Ukrainian people, will not destroy the Orthodox Church, bringing salvation to people. There is no such authority among any worldly rulers. And the Lord, we believe, will support our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in answer to our prayers, ”said the patriarch.

"Painful subject"

Experts also expect that the standard of living of ordinary Ukrainians in 2019 will continue to fall. Thus, the cost of electricity will grow by 15%, and at the request of the IMF, gas tariffs for the population will also increase. According to the calculations of the “Economic Truth” publication, the cost of gas, including VAT, transportation costs and surcharges to regional gas distribution companies, must increase from May 1, 2019, from UAH 8.55 thousand. ($ 305) to 9.85 thousand UAH. ($ 352) for 1 thousand cubic meters. m, and from January 1, 2020 - up to 12.3 thousand UAH. ($ 439) for 1 thousand cubic meters. m

“Increasing gas tariffs is a painful issue for all consumers. After the growth of tariffs from January 1, many neighbors were simply afraid to look at the payment and, as far as possible, did not turn on the heating ... I don’t know where to get money for the next heating season. Probably, they will have to take off their last shirt and proudly go to Poland, ”says Nikolai Zaritsky, a resident of the Kiev region, RT.

  • In Ukraine, December 2018
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  • © Gleb Garanich

In addition, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine predicts a further weakening of the hryvnia. The budget for 2019 laid the average rate of 29.4 UAH. for $ 1, while at the moment the currency is worth 27.5 UAH. for $ 1.

"The fall of the hryvnia will immediately lead to an increase in fuel prices, and then - for food ... They can rise in price by 15-20%", - said the source RT in the party "Self-help".

The course of the Ukrainian national currency may fall even more under the influence of the national debt, part of which Kiev must repay in the coming year.

According to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Groisman, in 2019 Ukraine should pay about $ 12 billion in loans and interest on them. Ukraine does not have such funds.

The size of the gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to $ 20.1 billion after Kiev received the first tranche of the new stendby program from the IMF in the amount of $ 1.4 billion in December 2018. However, this amount cannot be considered a reliable “safety cushion” for Ukraine, which, according to the IMF, occupies the 62nd line of the countries ’ranking in terms of gold and foreign currency reserves. Of these, 79% are securities, the liquidity of which strongly depends on the external conjuncture.

Ukraine is also forced to constantly take out new loans in order to pay off debts on previous loans. At the same time, domestic debt is growing steadily. According to the latest data, it is close to UAH 752.5 billion. ($ 27 billion). Across the country, systematically delaying the payment of pensions and salaries. In October 2018, wage arrears amounted to 2.884 billion UAH. ($ 104.8 million), which is 21.8% more than at the beginning of the year, according to data from the State Statistics Service.

As the RT source predicts in the “Self-Help” party, the increase in the minimum wage from January 1 from UAH 3.7 thousand. ($ 132) to 4,1 thousand UAH. ($ 146) will spur the rise in prices for goods and services.

“The purchasing power of most Ukrainians will not grow, despite the decrease in inflation. The growth rates of the minimum and average wages, pensions and other social benefits will be lower ... due to difficulties in filling the state budget, lack of private foreign investment and growing dependence on international donors, ”the director of the Ukrainian Supplier Association wrote on his Facebook page trading networks Alexey Doroshenko.

According to the deputy dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics, HSE Andrei Suzdaltsev, the forecasts of the Kiev authorities regarding Ukraine’s GDP growth of 3.5% in 2019 have no basis.

“Most likely, there will be further stratification of society into poor and rich. And no “Ukrainian miracle” will definitely happen, ”believes Suzdaltsev.

In addition, according to the expert, the outflow of the population from the country will continue. Currently, according to the Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, Andrey Reva, 7–9 million citizens of the republic work abroad (2.5 million of them work in Russia), which is about every third Ukrainian of working age.