A comedian best known for playing the role of an accidental president on television easily won the real-life election for president in Ukraine on Sunday, exit polls indicated, putting a political neophyte at the helm of a country at the center of the West's geopolitical struggle with Moscow.
The Central Election Commission announced the landslide win for Zelenskiy on Monday with 99 per cent of the ballots counted.
Ties between Ukraine and Russian Federation were shredded after a bloody uprising ousted a Kremlin-backed regime in 2014, prompting Moscow to annex Crimea and support insurgents in a conflict that has claimed around 13,000 lives.
Zelenskiy's promise to fight corruption has resonated with Ukrainians who are fed up with politics as usual in a country of 42 million people that remains one of Europe's poorest almost three decades after winning independence from the Soviet Union.
"I will never let you down", Zelensky told jubilant supporters at his campaign headquarters where he was showered with glittering confetti.
Speaking last night the comedian said: "I'm not yet officially the president, but as a citizen of Ukraine, I can say to all countries in the post-Soviet Union look at us. Anything is possible!" declared the newly-elected Ukrainian president.
Zelenskiy, a TV actor, trounced incumbent Petro Poroshenko in Sunday's election.
"In another phone call, Netanyahu thanked outgoing Ukrainian President Poroshenko for his friendship toward the State of Israel and the Jewish people", he added. I accept this decision.
Lyudmila Potrebko, a 22-year-old who voted for Mr Zelenskiy, said: "I have grown up under the old politicians and only have seen empty promises, lies and corruption".
"We have united Ukraine", he said, wearing a casual suit with a T-shirt, and accompanied by his wife. The Russian prime minister said he harbored "no illusions" about a change in rhetoric from Zelenskiy's campaign of "repeating the same ideological tenets we know all too well, targeted at various social groups".
A man votes with his son in Kiev, Ukraine, during the second round of Ukraine's presidential election on April 21, 2019.
PHOTO:A Ukrainian serviceman walks past a building destroyed as a result of shelling by Russia-backed separatists in the small town of Zolote, April 20, 2019, on the eve of the second round of Presidential election in Ukraine.
Millions of people living in the rebel-controlled east and in Russia-annexed Crimea were unable to vote, following the Russian seizure of Crimea in 2014.
"Now it is the turn of the new leadership of the country to understand and implement the aspirations of voters".
Congratulations have poured in, including from British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, European Council President Donald Tusk and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Ukraine had a chance to "reset".
Results from the exit poll released Sunday after voting stations closed showed Volodymyr Zelenskiy receiving 73.2 percent of the nationwide vote, President Petro Poroshenko 25.3 percent.