Election Security

Ukraine heads to polls in first election without pro-Kremlin candidate

Ukrainian presidential frontrunner Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukrainian presidential frontrunner Volodymyr Zelensky on the set of "Servant of the People," where he plays ... the president of Ukraine. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Ukraine heads to the polls on Sunday for the first round of its presidential election, a turning point vote for a nation long under the shadow of — and in open conflict with — Russia.

Why it matters: Ukrainians "want to be part of the West. They want to build a functioning democracy that guarantees their prosperity," says Daniel Twining, the president of the International Republican Institute, who spoke to Axios from Kiev.

Expert Voices

Mueller’s investigation is over. Russia’s election meddling isn’t.

Robert Mueller
Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller concurs with the Intelligence Community's assessment that the Russian government carried out a sophisticated, multi-pronged campaign to interfere in the 2016 election, per Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing the investigation’s findings.

Why it matters: Absent a bipartisan effort to combat this threat, Russian meddling may continue to disrupt American democracy.