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Ukraine leader reboots campaign ahead of presidential run-off

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:02s - Published < > Embed
Ukraine leader reboots campaign ahead of presidential run-off

Ukraine leader reboots campaign ahead of presidential run-off

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko seeks to reboot his campaign in response to strong competition from his challenger, the comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Edward Baran reports.

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Ukraine leader reboots campaign ahead of presidential run-off

This is Ukrainian President Poroshenko on stage with rock stars.

He may be trying to rebrand his campaign for reelection -- because his opponent is a well-known comedian and TV actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

He survived the first round of votes and is a presenting a major challenge for the president by using his OWN brand of rock star campaign.

Poroshenko's intent is clear: (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: (STARTS OVER SHOT OF CHEERING CROWD, CONTINUES OVER CLOSE UP OF WOMAN APPLAUDING): "I am pleased that so many young people are with us today.

(BACK TO POROSHENKO ON STAGE) Because youth is a driving force of our country." The president has apologized for past mistakes like installing business cronies to high office, and promised to be more transparent in the future, all aspects Zelenskiy has previously seized on in his reform and anti-corruption campaign platform.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "Mistake number one is about the trust.

We should work harder to have trust of the people, to improve the strategic communication.

And now when I have significantly more experience, definitely I will not repeat this mistake again." Zelenskiy won nearly twice as many votes as him in that first round of the election on March 31.

And the comedian has reached out especially to younger voters.

At stake is the leadership of a country on the frontline of the West's standoff with Russia following the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the outbreak of a Kremlin-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Both candidates want to keep Ukraine on a pro-Western course.

Poroshenko has said his strategy for the first round was to stir up national pride, tell his countrymen to ignore Russian depictions that Ukraine is a failed state.

But Poroshenko has much to do - a recent survey showed Zelenskiy on 61 percent of votes, with the incumbent on just 24 percent.



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