We’ll, the votes are all in and the new president of our nation is Viktor Yanukovich. Here is a picture of him and Yulia Temeshchenko, the bitter and still defiant oppenent Yanukovich defeated, and also the proud wearer of one of the most famous hair-does in history.
Because I don’t expect that most of our readers are familiar with recent Ukrainian history (we weren’t before we moved here) the thing that is baffling about this result is that Yanukovich is the candidate who won the previous election on a rigged ballet but was later ousted by Victor Yushchenko and the Orange Revolution: the dream of a Ukraine that was free from Russian power, nor ruled by a handful of corrupt oligarchs, but instead a nation for Ukrainians, ruled by Ukrainians wanting a better life, a true form of democracy. That was the dream then. But now, after support for the movement has slowly but steadily burnt out, five years later, this man Yanukovich is back and he won. The candidate whose party illegally tried to win the last election just got voted in democratically and to say the least, yes, we are a bit perplexed.
Why did he win? Honestly, we are not quite sure. One thing we do pick up talking to people is that there is a large percent of the population that has been totally and completely jaded to politics and sees little hope for a good politcal future in Ukraine. Regarding politicians, almost everyone assumes they are corrupt. So what if Yanakovich was the bad guy from the last election? So what if he is a criminal or not, aren’t they all? Many of our students considered the vote between Temoschenko and Yanukovich a ballot between a thief and a rapist (Yanukovich evidently got in trouble for this at one point). Another contributing factor in Yanukovich’s victory is that his voting block in the highly populous eastern Ukraine was maintained since the last election. Further, Yushchenko and Tymoshenko who began united as the leaders of the Orange Revolution have since been bitterly fighting, like little spoiled children, and that certainly hasn’t helped public images.
We’ll, that’s the state of politics in Ukraine. If you are an American fed up with politics and politicians, know that your sentiments are shared here in Ukraine. In fact, my favorite part of the whole election was when one candidate decided to go “Ochocinco.” Yes, just like the NFL wide receiver changed his name from Chad Johnson to Chad Ochocinco (his number is 85) this gentleman whose name was originally Vasil Vasilovich changed his name to Vasil Protevsix, which means Vasil against everyone! Not exactly the “change” platform that Obama rode into the White House but certainly there are some similarities.