Kyiv court reinstates reformist health minister as international pressure is brought to bear

bne IntelliNews February 17, 2019

The court that decided last week to temporarily remove Ulana Suprun as acting health minister ruled on February 14 to overturn its decision and reinstate her.

Ukraine comedian Zelensky lead in the presidential election polls increases

bne IntelliNews February 15, 2019

Electoral support for Ukrainian comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s presidential candidacy is growing, according to the latest poll results published by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) on February 14.

Ukrainian president Poroshenko lobbying judges in event of election loss, MP says

bne IntelliNews February 15, 2019

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is lobbying two loyal judges to remain on the Supreme Council of Justice should he lose the presidential elections, MP Serhiy Leshchenko of the Poroshenko Bloc alleged in a television news broadcast

Russians spent $1.66bn on games in 2018

bne IntelliNews February 14, 2019

Russians spent some $1.66bn on games in 2018, according to Newzoo. Ranking 11th in the research firm’s global ranking, Russia is ahead of Brazil and Mexico ($1.45bn and $1.58bn, respectively), but behind Italy and Spain ($2.17bn and $2.20bn).

Ukrainian regional council head named suspect in Handziuk acid attack murder

bne IntelliNews February 12, 2019

Vladyslav Manher, the head of the Kherson Regional Council, was named a suspect in the murder of local civic activist Kateryna Handziuk, in what analysts say looks like a pre-election political move.

Poland concedes setback in quest to stop Nord Stream 2

bne IntelliNews February 12, 2019

Warsaw's hopes of stopping the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline were dashed, as Germany and France pushed through a compromise wording of amendments to EU’s gas market rules that will result in the weakening of the bloc’s joint control.

KYIV BLOG: Comic Zelenskiy leads record number of candidates for the Ukrainian presidency

Sergei Kuznetsov in Kyiv, Ben Aris in Berlin February 11, 2019

Ukrainians mistrust all the establishment candidates allowing outsider and comic Volodymyr Zelenskiy to take the lead in the most recent polls for the presidential election.

Ukraine central bank keeps 2019-2020 inflation forecast unchanged at 6.3% falling to 5%

bne IntelliNews February 11, 2019

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) kept unchanged its consumer inflation forecast of 6.3% YTD for 2019 and 5% YTD for 2020, according to its quarterly inflationary report published on February 7.

COMMENT: Ukraine’s long-awaited religious independence is a matter of national security

Nicholas Kaufmann in Brussels February 5, 2019

Just how Russia will react to losing a significant source of soft power remains unclear, but Moscow has raised eyebrows with a pledge to “protect the interests of the faithful” in Ukraine.

Ukrainian comedian Zelensky leads presidential race

bne IntelliNews February 1, 2019

Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays the president in a Ukrainian TV show, shocks the political establishment by overtaking ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko in the latest polls.

New poll says Yulia Tymoshenko wins Ukraine’s presidential elections in all scenarios

bne IntelliNews January 31, 2019

The IRI poll found that former prime minister Tymoshenko will win in a runoff against any of the other leading candidates.

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) kept the monetary policy interest rate on hold at 18%, says inflation to fall to 6.3% in 2019

bne IntelliNews January 31, 2019

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) kept the monetary policy interest rate on hold at 18% at its regular meeting on January 31, after the central bank had hiked the rate three times last year to battle persistent inflation.

KYIV BLOG: Dropping export quotas on Ukrainian goods to Europe would fix its worst problems

Ben Aris in Berlin January 31, 2019

It’s not even the end of January and Ukraine has already used up its entire year’s quota for duty free exports to Europe of corn, honey, grapes and apple juice. Quotas on other products are running out fast. The EU should drop the restrictions.

HEATMAP: Russia and Ukraine battle it out for title of most corrupt country in Europe

Ben Aris in Berlin January 30, 2019

Russia recaptured the dubious title of “most corrupt country in Eastern Europe” after it slipped three places in this year’s Transparency International Corruption Perceptions index, falling to 138th place out of 180 countries.

Ukraine’s incumbent President Petro Poroshenko announced his candidature for president

bne IntelliNews January 29, 2019

Ukraine’s incumbent President Petro Poroshenko announced his candidature for president in the elections slated for March 31 at a press conference on January 29.

Rock star Sviatoslav Vakarchuk confirms he won’t run for Ukraine’s presidency

bne IntelliNews January 29, 2019

Western educated Vakarchuk was one of two alternative non-establishment possible candidates in the race with a real chance of mounting a challenge to the incumbent political elite.

Real wage growth slows to 9.7% y/y in December

bne IntelliNews January 29, 2019

Real wages in Ukraine grew 9.7% y/y in December, slowing from a 11.4% y/y surge in November, the State Statistics Service reported on January 28.

KYIV BLOG: IMF gives Ukraine a smack over slow pace of reforms

Ben Aris in Berlin January 25, 2019

Embarrassing Lagarde statement pulled after a few hours. Did officials worry they’d trod on some pre-election toes?

Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych convicted for treason

Ben Aris in Berlin January 24, 2019

Yanukovych was sentenced in absentia to 13 years in prison for his role in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and fomenting war in the Donbas.

Horizon Capital raises $200mn for third Ukraine fund, beating expectations

Ben Aris in Berlin January 24, 2019

It's still winter in Ukraine, but the weather is warming in the investment climate of the battered country.