The presidential election was held in
yesterday. The elections were free and
fair. However, in eastern Ukraine,
pro-Russian insurgents attempted to disrupt the election by damaging polling
materials and stations, threats and violence that intimidated many voters into
participating. In my last post on Ukraine earlier
this month, I had discussed the Russian and Ukrainian Russophile attempt to
disrupt the election. Voter turnout was
high in predominately Ukrainian-speaking western Ukraine and
low in predominately Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
Businessman Petro Poroshenko appears to have easily won a majority among the crowded field of candidates. He plans to crush militarily the pro-Russian insurgents quickly, but to negotiate an end to violence with both them and the
Russian Federation. Poroshenko has attracted a sense of unity amidst Ukraine's crisis, as
the other major candidates have congratulated him. It is hoped that Ukraine can remain independent, whole and free and soon enjoy peace and good relations with both Russia and Western Europe and the United States, while eliminating its debt and returning to prosperity.