Campaigning ends in historic Ukraine elections

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Campaigning ends in historic Ukraine elections

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On Sunday Ukrainians vote in parliamentary elections after a momentous year in which people power ousted a pro-Russian political establishment, and pro-Russians in the east took up arms against Kyiv.

The election campaign has been fought on issues of patriotism with the war in the east making it difficult to campaign on urgent issues like political and legal reforms.

“I’m watching the TV debates, and I haven’t decided who I will vote for. But I think I will choose Poroshenko’s bloc or Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front,” said one young woman.

“I think the election make no sense. I haven’t made my decision, perhaps I will decide who I will vote for on the day,” was one young man’s opinion.

The results will show just how much support for pro-Russian parties remains in Ukraine, where much public opinion was previously unconcerned about ties with Russia. After the destruction and death in the east, public opinion has swung decisively against Moscow and its Ukrainian proxy parties.

Fighting in the east continues to threaten destabilisation on polling day, but the OSCE ceasefire observers patrolling the eastern buffer zone now have some new tools to help them, and have been testing the first two drones of an eventual squadron that will put eyes in the sky.