Leaked emails appear to link Ukrainian presidential favourite to Russia

Ukraine’s secret services have opened an investigation into the campaign of presidential frontrunner Volodymyr Zelensky after a tranche of hacked emails revealed he has been receiving support from Russia.

The emails, first published by the Myrotvorets Center, show that a Russian security official with ties to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic had attempted to send money to Mr Zelensky’s campaign.

Among others, the emails suggest that part of the financing came from Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev and Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov, both of whom are believed to be the architects of Russia’s Ukraine policy.

The leaked messages have reportedly been confirmed as genuine, pointing to possible cooperation or an attempt to discredit Mr Zelensky.

Speaking in an interview on April 17, the presidential frontrunner and former comedian called Russian president Vladimir Putin an enemy, adding that he does not believe the Donbass region needs any special status.

He also confirmed that he will not sign an amnesty law for pro-Russian militants if elected.

According to the latest polls, Mr Zelensky is set to secure a landslide victory against incumbent president and election rival Petro Poroshenko.