Moscow Kremlin

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky wins first round of Ukrainian elections

Volodymyr Zelensky. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays president of Ukraine in a television series, has won the first round of Ukraine's presidential elections with about 30% of the vote, according to an exit poll cited by the BBC.

The big picture: Zelensky will face off against incumbent Petro Poroshenko in a runoff, since neither candidate received a majority. This Ukraine's first presidential election without a clear pro-Kremlin candidate, reflecting a shift for a country that has been increasingly drawn toward the West since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Go deeper: What to know about Ukraine's presidential elections

Felix Sater to face House hearing on Trump Tower Moscow project

Felix Sater
Donald Trump, Tevfik Arif and Felix Sater attend the Trump Soho Launch Party on Sept. 19, 2007, in New York. Photo: Mark Von Holden/WireImage

Russian-born real estate developer Felix Sater will publicly testify before the House Intelligence Committee on March 27 after previously delaying his appearance due to scheduling issues.

Why it matters: Sater is expected to discuss his work with Michael Cohen on building a Trump Tower in Moscow — a project that helped land Cohen a 3-year prison sentence after he lied to Congress about how long negotiations extended into the 2016 presidential campaign.