JRL NEWSWATCH: “A Shadow over Ukraine’s Presidential Election” – International Crisis Group/ Katharine Quinn-Judge

File photo of statue of St. Volodymyr in Kyiv overlooking the Dnieper River, adapted from image at cia.gov

“With Ukraine’s establishment forecasting doom after the presidential runoff, the far right’s influence on politics is impossible to ignore. Its resurgence is both a symptom and a cause of the country’s ills: there is less daylight between it and the political mainstream than either admits.”

“… Zelensky’s campaign has hinged on shying away from policy specifics …. appealing to voters … wary of Poroshenko’s increasingly familiar rhetoric about containing Russian aggression and promises of Westernisation. The comedian blames Moscow for the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, but says both sides should ‘just stop shooting.’ He says he favours integration with the West, but questions whether European states will ever treat Ukraine as a peer. Apocalyptic predictions abound about his potential victory. Poroshenko says his opponent is a Kremlin plant who could bring about the death of the Ukrainian state. Poroshenko’s harshest critics, many of them also concerned about Zelensky’s inexperience and flippancy, have claimed that the sitting president could use voter suppression tactics …. Some commentators even see a plot by the country’s substantial far right to help elect Zelensky and then seize power in a coup. … * * * Though they do poorly in elections, far-right groups’ patriotic credentials and anti-corruption stances strike a chord …. [S]ome of the far right’s positions mirror and may influence mainstream sentiments. …. Proponents of Ukraine’s integration with the West tend to downplay the significance of far right groups. But their underwhelming electoral performance obfuscates the major role the various groups and their viewpoints play in public life. …”

Click here for: “A Shadow over Ukraine’s Presidential Election; With Ukraine’s establishment forecasting doom after the presidential runoff, the far right’s influence on politics is impossible to ignore. Its resurgence is both a symptom and a cause of the country’s ills: there is less daylight between it and the political mainstream than either admits.” – International Crisis Group/ Katharine Quinn-Judge

[featured image is file photo, not directly related to article subject matter]

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion