Ukrainian Political Scientist Andrey Zolotarev: Poroshenko’s Presidential Campaign Rests on TV, Bribery, and Tomos

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The head of the “Third Sector” analytical center Andrey Zolotarev stated on the air of the “Glavnovosti” TV channel that Petro Poroshenko builds his electoral campaign with the help of traditional methods, bribing voters, and making appeals to the aggressive minority.

“Traditionally in Ukrainian politics all that anyone who wants to experience happiness in the fight for the presidential mace needs to do is to concentrate finance and to have access to the TV. Today this is supplemented by a third element – the power resource [the ability to physically intimidate opponents – ed]. Even such parties as ‘Samopomich‘ now start to think about creating its own power wing. This factor of power is firmly established in Ukrainian politics, we will see it the presidential and, even more so, in the parliamentary elections.

The fourth factor – which didn’t exist earlier – is the formation of voter bribery networks for presidential elections. Such work is being carried out and you understand who from the presidential candidates has an overwhelming superiority in all types of electoral resources, except, perhaps, in approval ratings. It is obvious to all who is able to do all this.

The slogan ‘army-language-faith’ and autocephaly PR are competent steps, but they do not give the desired effect against the background of social and economic policies failing.

There is a need to pay tribute to the president’s political strategists – due to the complete lack of socio-economic results, a stake is placed on the active and aggressive minority, which is ideologized and indoctrinated, is ‘pro’ Tomos and ‘Away from Moscow!’, and which will be ready to forgive Poroshenko for all his tricks with corruption, blabbing, lies, and hypocrisy. That’s why this move is rather strong.

But if Poroshenko had at least some visible socio-economic results, then this triad of Poroshenko (‘language-army-faith’) would have broken through this electoral campaign and he would be the leader with overwhelming chances of winning. But since there are no such results and tariffs were increased in time, and because for voters the autumn is the time of Maidans, plus the fact that problems with housing and public utilities are actualised in the autumn, people become only angrier. People are embittered, they are bombarded by a flow of ‘Tomos is our everything’, and people think that this is some Tomosophrenia and that the government is a little bit ill.

Therefore, despite the fact that the president’s team managed to conduct a massive campaign of propaganda about autocephaly, the expectations that this would increase the president’s rating did not materialise,” he said.

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