1. Ukraine: a pretty grim picture
BSSB.BE intellinews.com 25.05.2018
*The centre for insights in survey research, just published an extensive survey on attitudes in Ukraine and it makes for pretty grim dreading.
To summarise the main results in broad brush strokes, the government of Ukraine has failed to fulfil the promise of the “Revolution of Dignity,” it has lost the youth who wont vote and see little future in their own country, while their parents retain very mixed feelings about what their relations with Russia should be or membership of Nato.
- With presidential election slated for next year President Petro Poroshenko is in trouble and will have his work cut out if either he or his eponymous parliamentary fraction are going to retain power.
- However, the poor showing of the other parties suggests that Ukrainians don’t like any of their leaders and in general feel the country has lost its way.
That will be a problem for Ukraine’s western allies that have repeatedly backed individuals rather than the process as part of a more general policy of wooing Ukraine away from Russia’s orbit of influence. It began with linking Ukraine’s Association Agreement to the release of opposition leader, former Prime Minister and head of Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been jailed by former president Viktor Yanukovych.
Then Washington changed tack and backed Yanukovych when it became clear he was thinking of joining Russia’s Customs Union in 2013. Now it has put all its eggs in Poroshenko’s basket despite the current president’s clear hostility to introducing some key reforms. Only this week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) representative in Kyiv made it clear that more funding would only be made available if Kyiv makes progress on hiking domestic gas tariffs, ending the moratorium on land sales and setting up a anti-corruption court (ACC) – none of which are likely to happen; at least before the elections.
Ukraine’s economy collapsed after the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014 and the economy contracted by 15% in a year. Since then it has begun to recover, but rather than the bounce back and inbound flood of investment many were hoping for the growth has been anaemic and incomes in Ukraine remain the lowest in the former Soviet space, lower even than such basket cases as Azerbaijan and Belarus.
The upshot is 71% of the population think the country is going in the wrong direction – a result that have remains more of less unchanged throughout the post revolutionary period. And those attitudes is pretty evenly distributed across the country and amongst all the age groups.
As for the changes in the last six months, less respondents thought the economic situation has gotten worse (69%) but that was only because the share that thought it was as bad as last year has grown to 20% from 11% immediately following the revolution and economic collapse.
The distress the people are feeling will be expressed at the polls. Some 63% of the respondents said they would definitely or probably vote in the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2019.
Currently Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna party is leading the polls with 9% of total possible voters followed by the Opposition bloc (the rump of Yanukovych’s former Party of Regions ruling party) with 5% that ties with Poroshenko’s party for second place.
Counting out the “wont votes” from the poll numbers and seven parties should enter parliament but stepping back and it is clear that none of the parties have a clear lead over the others which will make it hard to hammer out any definitive policy in the new Rada.
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: intellinews.com