Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says his two top election rivals are backed by a self-exiled tycoon who wants revenge for the nationalization of his bank.

Poroshenko said at a rally in the city of Lviv on Thursday that billionaire businessman Ihor Kolomoyskyi is trying to unseat him by supporting comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Sunday’s election.

Opinion polls have shown Zelenskiy leading the race. He and Tymoshenko have rejected claims that Kolomoyskyi is the funder and mastermind of their campaigns.

Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Poroshenko blamed the ex-prime minister for Ukraine’s past economic woes and alleged that a Zelenskiy victory would help Russia.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014 in a move that most nations see as illegal and also backed a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Members of right-wing National Corps march toward an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ukrainian anti riot police cordon off the access to an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, during a demonstration by right-wing National Corps in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ukrainian anti riot police cordon off the access to an election campaign rally of Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and candidate for 2019 elections, during a demonstration by right-wing National Corps in Lviv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ukrainian artist Dasha Marchenko adds a chocolate wrapper to her portrait of Ukraine's President and chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko at her studio in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ukrainian artist Dasha Marchenko adds a chocolate wrapper to her portrait of Ukraine’s President and chocolate tycoon Petro Poroshenko at her studio in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.