Ukrainians harbour few illusions on voting day

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Ukrainians harbour few illusions on voting day

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Corruption and resignation. These appear to be the keywords today as Ukrainians go to the polls to elect a new parliament.

Observers say the result will have to be interpreted against a background of accusations of vote-rigging, and opposition complaints their leading lights have been barred from taking part.

However the government may escape sanction as many appear resigned to the new boss being the same as the old boss.

“These elections to the Verhovna Rada, Ukrainian parliament will decide what our nation will look like in the next 5 years,” said President Viktor Yanukovich.

For analysts and experts Ukraine’s image is one of the world’s most corrupt regimes, and that corruption has spread everywhere.

“I don’t expect anything from this election. It will not change anything neither for me as a citizen, nor for the country in general,” said one lady in Kiev.

This level of resignation may seem surprising from a people who, just eight years ago thrilled the world with their “Orange Revolution” when tens of thousands braved the winter to overturn a fraudulent election result.

But since then Ukraine’s opposition has fractured, suffered in-fighting and loss of support while Moscow has squeezed and helped President Yanukovich rebuild his pro-Russian party. Yanukovich has also jailed the opposition’s most charismatic leaders, Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko.