World Boxing Champion Vitali Klitshchko is running for parliament in Ukraine’s elections on Sunday.
KYIV, UKRAINE – A popular personality in a country where sports figures do quite well, Klitshchko is promising to rock the political status quo. Some have said the boxer is being used by political elites to further their own causes, but his first coach said politics was a natural transition for the man.
World boxing champion Vitali Klitskchko at rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct 25, 2012 (photo: DS)
At a rally on Thursday night, one day before the last day of official campaigning, Klitshchko promised closer cooperation with Europe. Ukraine has been badly hit by the economic woes of the European Union, a significant trading partner. Much of Western Ukrainian feels quite European, while Eastern Ukraine feels closer ties to Russia.
World boxing champion Vitali Klitskchko addresses supporters at rally in Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct 25, 2012 (photo: DS)
World boxing champion Vitali Klitskchko’s UDAR party makes final push for parliament, Kyiv, Ukraine, Oct 25, 2012 (photo: DS)
Klitschko’s party, Udar (meaning “punch”), does not fall under the umbrella of the United Opposition, led by jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshchenko. But Klitschko has vowed he will not sit with the ruling “Party of Regions” in the next parliament.
WATCH: Roee Ruttenberg reports on the World Boxing Champion making a run for office.
Roee Ruttenberg is a freelance journalist, producer, and television news correspondent. He has worked for ABC News, CCTV (Chinese Television) News, Al Jazeera English and ZDF German Television, as well as several other international news outlets. His writings have been published in Ha’aretz and The Jerusalem Post. He divides his time between Israel and the United States.
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