Ukraine’s presidential rivals trade insults in raucous stadium debate
Polls suggest comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy is due to score an overwhelming victory in Sundays vote
A noisy, boisterous standoff in a cavernous stadium. A police cordon separating the two rival fan sections, rock music pumping and insults flying. It had the feeling of a boxing grudge match, but instead it was the final act of Ukraines chaotic, unpredictable election campaign.
Polls suggest that despite a complete lack of political experience, the 41-year-old comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy is due to score an overwhelming victory over the incumbent, Petro Poroshenko, in Sundays vote.
Fridays debate was seen as Poroshenkos last chance to turn the tide and prove to the country that even if they were disappointed in his first term, sticking with him was a safer option than putting the country into the hands of a political novice.
The debate had been the main subject of conversation in Ukraine all week, and was broadcast live on several television channels. Police said 22,000 people came to Kyivs Olympic Stadium to listen.