Saturday, April 01, 2006

This is an interesting site - Freedom of Choice: it reveals the price of this election for each party (in Ukrainian only, unfortunately; its English part is very outdated).

The list of overall expenses (in US dollars) is here, and the money spent on political advertising (in hryvnias) is here.

It's overwhelming.

If I understand it correctly, Yushchenko's Our Ukraine Bloc has spent $131,721,692 on this campaign (at various levels); Yanukovych's Regions of Ukraine $121,207,286; Yulia - $93,465,614. All parties' total is $788,878,405.

It's nothing, of course, compared to what used to be Mikhail Khodorkovsky's personal fortune ($15 billion or so), but it's still quite a waste for a nation that pretends to be impoverished and all that.

(Just noticed it's April 1 already - but alas, this info isn't a joke.)


  1. In at least two senses, the money spent on campaign advertising isn't wasted, I think.

    First, it spreads information on parties, candidates, and issues, and thus informs the public and stimulates thought and debate (I hope Ukrainian political ads are better than American ones).

    Second, it is much cheaper than the likely one complains that the various parties are spending too much on ads in Belarus. This spending is a sign of free elections.

    BTW, I visit your blog once in a while & enjoy it. I lived in Kyiv for two years and miss it.

  2. These numbers are wrong. You cannot have one party spend $131 million dollars on one campaign. Even in western Europe these numbers would be too high.

    The numbers are about 10 times or more higher than they should be.

  3. Considering the total dollars cited are more than 2 times Ukraine's Gross Domestic Product ... the figures are undoubtedly wrong. Unless you think the candidates have accumulated more than twice the wealth that Ukraine produces in an entire year ...

  4. W. Shedd, I think you misplaced a decimal point. Ukraine's GDP is in the $320 billion range (USD, PPP estimates), according to the CIA World Factbook. So while the numbers sound wrong they certainly are possible.

    Compare with Belarus: by law, the total spending on campaign advertising for all 4 candidates was limited to $124,000. And according to the OSCE, Lukashenka didn't even spend his share.