Saturday, November 06, 2004

Below are two more letters sent by Ukrainian readers to the Spectator regarding John Laughland's opinion piece on our election:

What a piece of biased crap it is! I wonder what were the author's sources of inspiration to present the information the way he did. To me, a Ukrainian citizen and a Jew living in Russia, it seems that Mr. Laughland reads too much Russian pro-Kremlin newspapers and watches too much Russian pro-Kremlin TV. I may suggest the editor of The Spectator to translate this article into Russian and sell it to the Russian media and to the Yanukovich election team in Ukraine. You'd make a fortune out of it. Really.


I found the article on the Ukrainian presidential elections to be misleading and biased. Mr. Laughland is obviously out of touch with the Ukrainian reality when he attributes the improvement in the economic situation to the activities of the current Prime Minister and a government-appointed presidential candidate Mr. Yanukovich. Every observer of Ukraine would have told Mr. Laughland that the foundation for the economic growth (elimination of the barter trade, introduction of transparency in the banking system, serious privatization) was laid down several years ago, at the time when opposition candidate, Mr. Yuschenko, was the Prime Minister – the fact which for some reason the author neglects to mention. On the other hand, under the current government (Mr. Laughland forgets to say that Mr. Yanukovich spent two terms in prison on criminal charges) Ukraine slipped back in the corruption index issued by Transparency International to 106th place. I was also shocked by Mr. Laughland’s assertion that Mr. Yuschenko’s power base is limited to the poverty-stricken Western Ukraine. Had Mr. Laughland checked his facts he would have known that, even by the government’s count, Mr. Yuschenko collected more than 10.7 M votes and won in 17 major regions of the country out of 27 in the first round of the elections. As for the alleged “skinheads’” support of Mr. Yuschenko, the article does not mention that, first, this segment of the Ukrainian electorate is negligible and, second, that the nationalist extremists had been voting for their own candidate, Mr. Korchinsky (49,001 votes). A simple comparison of the two major contenders and their respective platforms provides a more than sufficient explanation of the reasons why the West appears to be more supportive of Mr. Yuschenko rather than of Mr. Yanukovich. Describing this support as a “Western aggression” is laughable. Yours truly, [...]

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