Skip to main content

US MAINSTREAM MEDIA continues to give a partial, and dangerously misleading view of events in Ukraine.

The latest misrepresentation is in the reporting of the recent election for a new President.

Western media has presented the results as an "overwhelming victory" for chocolate billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko, with more than 54% of the vote.

This seems to be an impressive endorsement in the bid to give the coup-government some legitimacy. Until the turnout figures are examined.

The US media, in particular, has almost universally ignored turnout.

But figures from the Central Election Commission of Ukraine report an overall turnout of just 60.3%.

On that basis Poroshenko can claim the overall support of fewer than one in three Ukrainians.

In only ten of the 24 primary administration units — oblasts — was the turnout greater than that in the last two US presidential elections, about 64%. The highest turnout was in Lviv and Ternopil in the far west of the country. In Lviv 70% voted for Poroshenko on a 78.2% turnout.

In the far east of the country turnout was as low as 6.8% in some voting districts. The interactive map published at by John Burn-Murdoch illustrates the range of turnout dropping sharply mostly from east to west, though the most western oblas Zakarpattia had a turnout of just 51%.

At best for Poroshenko, in the far west, he still only won the support of less than 55% of the population.

In Donetsk, in the east, the turnout overall was 15.4%, and much lower in some voting areas. That means fewer than 6% Ukrainians in Donetsk voted for the new figurehead.

Even in Kiev, the seat of the US-backed coup, turnout was 62.7%. With 63.6% of that turnout voting for Poroshenko, fewer than four out of ten Kiev residents voted for Poroshenko.

The fact that Ukraine is a deeply divided country is not a revelation. At the last legitimate election in 2010 Viktor Yanukovych won 49% of the popular vote against 45.5% for the former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. That was on a turnout of 69%, eight clear points higher than for the election of Peroshenko.

On that basis Yanukovych in 2010 could claim the support of one in three Ukrainians. But it was still more support — albeit only marginally more — than Poroshenko with his "overwhelming victory".

Support for Tymoshenko seems to have crumbled. With just 13% of the popular vote, she attracted the votes of well under one in ten Ukrainians.

In 2010 and in 2014, maps of the voting show the country to be sharply divided regionally. Maps of the cultural and linguistic breakdown of the country mirror the voting maps… or, rather politics in Ukraine mirror the cultural and linguistic quilt (right).

There is no tiny minority, nor massive majority in Ukraine. This was and remains a divided, but finally balanced country.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site