Early Presidential Elections Unify Ukrainians

Kyiv, May 28, 2014. With more than 54% of Ukrainians casting their votes for Petro Poroshenko in the early Presidential elections, the Kremlin’s myth of “separated Ukraine” has been disproven.  Andrei Illarionov, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in the US and former economic adviser to President Putin, observed that Ukrainians’ overwhelming preference for a pro-Western candidate negates Putin’s theory of a Ukraine that is divided along east-west lines, and that his theory cannot withstand any formal and legal argument.

“The most important result of the Ukrainian Presidential elections is not that P.Poroshenko was elected as a President. And it is not that for the very first time Ukrainian President was elected in the first round. And not even the fact that Y.Tymoshenko suffered a serious defeat […]. The most important result of yesterday’s Presidential elections is the formal and legal death of Putin’s myth of the so-called “breakup” of Ukraine for the west-central and south-eastern parts […]. This is the funeral of Putin’s plan to separate Ukraine.” states Andrei Illarionov in his blog for Echo of Moscow.

Remarkably, President-elect Poroshenko received votes from all regions of the country.  In these elections residents of western regions of the country did not vote differently from those in the east. According to election results, the top four candidates, all of whom represent the political west and the center of the country (Petro Poroshenko, Yulia Tymoshenko, Oleh Lyashko, and Anatoliy Hrytsenko), together received approximately 83% of all votes. This indicates that a striking majority of Ukrainians are opting for a European path of development and for a unified country.

In contrast, the poor results of candidates with an ‘eastern’ orientation – Sergiy Tihipko (4.8%) and Mykhaylo Dobkin (2.1%) – demonstrate how few Ukrainians are choosing to follow Putin’s scenario for the country. In these elections, Ukraine demonstrated that it has not become a “Bandera state” or an anti-Russian state, but merely a country that has become anti-Putin, concludes Andrei Illarionov. Russia’s relentless propaganda about a divided Ukraine with a Russian-speaking east that would like to join Russia cannot withstand the tide of striking unity that has been displayed by Ukrainians in the pre-term presidential election.