by Stephen Lendman
Presidential aspirants were all putschist-approved. They're fascists. Ballot choices excluded democrats.
Several legitimate candidates dropped out. They were threatened. They feared for their lives.
Ukrainians chose a president, Kiev mayor, Kiev Council deputies and six regional center mayors - in Mykolaiv, Odessa, Sumy, Kherson, Cherkasy and Chernivtsi.
If no presidential aspirant wins a majority, second round voting is scheduled for June 15.
About 35 million Ukrainians were eligible to vote. So were diaspora ones. They number around 470,000. Scores of polling stations opened in 75 countries.
On election eve, coup-appointed prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk addressed Ukrainians. He pressured them to vote.
"Tomorrow we will prove to the whole world, and first of all to ourselves, that it is not possible to intimidate us, that we are going to decide ourselves how to rebuild our home and how to work in it," he said.
"But we have fought for these elections. We are defending our land, restoring our military, rebuilding the destroyed industry, destroying the schemes that had been washing billions out of the country."
"We are learning to control the power and laying the ground for further development…By our ballots we elect and thus win."
He addressed Donetsk and Lugansk freedom fighters, adding:
"I want to assure you. Not much time is left for the bandits, terrorizing your regions."
A previous article said expect billionaire oligarch Petro Proroshenko to win.
Expect electoral rubber-stamping anointment. So-called polls showed his support ranged from 33 - 44%. Vote tallies show he's heading for a first round victory.
It doesn't matter. Fascism won on Sunday. Hardline rule prevails. Police state authority reflects it.
Ukrainians had no say. Sunday's election masqueraded as legitimate. Farcical sham defined it.
Expected winner Poroshenko will serve five years. Presidential elections will next be held in March 2019.
Coop-appointed central election committee members approved 2,784 fascist-supporting observers. They include about 100 US ones.
Former Secretary of State/unindicted war criminal Madeleine Albright came. So did numerous Senate and House members.
They support fascist illegitimacy. They endorsed sham elections. They mock democratic ones. Monied interests control US ones.
Russian observers didn't come. They were excluded. They weren't wanted. They weren't invited. For the first time in modern Ukraine history.
RT International listed 10 facts about Sunday's presidential election. It called doing so examining the campaign's dark "underbelly."
(1) Coup-appointed putschists significantly reduced presidential powers. Poroshenko may be more figurehead than leader.
(2) Former illegitimate Orange Revolution prime minister/convicted felon Yulia Tymoshenko threatened new street protests if Poroshenko wins.
(3) Twenty-three putschist-approved candidates competed. Seven others dropped out. Some after threats on their life. Vitaly Klitschko to run for Kiev's mayoralty.
(4) Two initial presidential aspirants were attacked. Oleg Tsarev was brutally beaten. He dropped out of contention. He was threatened. He feared for his life.
(5) Ukraine's war without mercy continues. Coup-appointed president Aleksadr Turchinov ludicrously claims it's to "bring peace and serenity."
Election day was one of the bloodiest so far. Expect worse going forward.
(6) Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republic rejected sham elections. They didn't participate.
Putschists amended electoral rules. Turnout didn't matter. Results are considered valid if one constituency alone participates.
(7) Freedom fighting regions aren't the only ones rejecting sham elections. Ukraine's Communist Party may do so.
Its leader Petr Simonyenk dropped out of contention. Why bother with fascism sure to win.
(8) Putschists barred Russian journalists from covering Sunday's election. They want credible voices silenced. They want their voice alone reported.
(9) RT estimated over 3,600 foreign observers. From 19 putschist-approved countries. From 19 international organizations they approved.
(10) Putin said he'll respect electoral results. He'll work with its leader. At the same time, he rejects putschist rule. More on his strategy below.
Moscow's post-electoral response depends on post-electoral Ukrainian policies. Mostly whether attacking Eastern freedom fighters stops.
At the same time, a viable Ukraine comes down to money. Kiev needs Moscow more than the reverse.
Its heavy industry depends on Russian markets. Some of Poroshenko's factories operate in its heartland.
On May 22, Brookings headlined "Ukraine: A Prize Neither Russia Nor the West Can Afford to Win."
At issue is "how much each side is willing to pay for their preferred outcome." The amount is huge. It's too great to bear.
Brookings estimates around $276 billion. An "unthinkable" amount. "(T)here can be no viable Ukraine without serious" Western and Russian contributions, it said.
"(A) Ukraine exclusively in the West is the least feasible. A Ukraine fully under Russian control and with severed links to the West is, unfortunately, possible."
Russia prefers Ukraine federalized. It wants national unity. Local autonomy. Weak central government.
Findlandization is option two. Strong Russia influencing weak Ukrainian policy. According to Brookings, Kiev needs normalized Russian relations.
Expect Poroshenko to go all-out to get it. He has to. He has no other choice. He'll have to pay the price. Expect it to include halting hostilities.
Neocon Obama administration planners miscalculated. They didn't see what unfolded.
They misjudged. They failed. They missed the East/West split.
Ukraine is geopolitically disintegrating in plain sight. Aggressive war won't change things. It's not working.
Eastern Ukrainians are more resilient than they imagined. They're courageous. They fighting for rights too important to sacrifice.
They're going all-out to preserve them. They're gaining adherents. Scores of Ukrainian soldiers defected. Maybe hundreds will follow. Maybe many more.
They'e reluctant to attack their own people. Special hardline National Guard forces are involved.
So are neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs. Foreign mercenaries were hired. How things turn out is hard to predict so far.
Conditions are fluid. They're up for grabs. The battle for Ukraine's soul continues. Expect whichever side with more staying power to prevail.
At the same time, Brookings wasn't encouraging overall saying:
"In the 23 years of its independence, the Ukraine has not succeeded in developing a viable economic model, and it failed to promote a higher standard of living for the almost totality of its inhabitants."
"Economic bankruptcy, demographic implosion, ubiquitous corruption, internal and external political polarisation, great power influence if not outright intervention…"
"Ukraine has been walking on extremely thin ice for quite some time."
"The weakness of the Ukrainian experimental state has generated a number of dangerous feedback mechanisms…"
"(T)he weaker Kiev became, the more intense grew international pressure around it, and even inside it."
"The more intense these international pressures, the weaker Kiev became."
Brookings called 2004 Orange Revolution destabilization "the beginning of the end." Political unrest followed.
Coupled with Kiev's inability to pay its energy bills. It's worse now than ever. Ukraine is bankrupt.
IMF billions are woefully inadequate. Kiev needs many multiples more than any source will provide.
Protracted Greek-like Depression conditions are certain. Ordinary Ukrainians will suffer most. Unemployment will soar.
Millions will be deeply impoverished. They'll get little or no outside help. They'll be on their own to survive.
They'll be stuck longterm. Under fascist rule. The worst of all outcomes. How they'll react remains to be seen.
When pain levels cross thresholds too great to bear, all hell breaking lose often follows. Perhaps this time.
Perhaps Orange Resolution 3.0. A grassroots one this time. Maybe violent. Maybe bloody. With more uncertainty following.
Ukraine is one of Europe's worst basket cases. Economic, political, and socially destructive crises reflect it.
It's internally divided. It's politically unstable. It's despotically governed.
It's bankrupt. It's hugely in a deepening hole. Russia is advantageously positioned.
Putin can play a waiting game. Intervention isn't part of his strategy.
He can watch Ukraine disintegrate. See it self-destruct. Name his price for helping.
Ukraine has no choice. Or the West. He's in the catbird seat. He'll come out a winner. He already did.
Previous articles called him a master chess player. He keeps proving it. Bashing him accomplishes nothing.
Sanctions imposed cut both ways. EU countries increasingly realize it. They're more bark than bite.
Perhaps Washington will end up more increasingly isolated. Obama's strategy backfired.
He picked the wrong adversary. Putin keeps besting him. He's running out of strategies.
Everyone tried so far failed. Not just in Ukraine. He's by far America's worst ever president.
Its most lawless. It's most ruthless. It's most belligerent. It's most duplicitous.
It's most mendacious. Its most immoral. It's most hypocritical. Its most dishonest. Its own reckless. Perhaps heading for its most hated.
On Sunday, thousands rallied in central Donetsk's Lenin Square. They displayed People's Republic flags.
Speakers urged attendees to boycott illegitimate proceedings. Oplot militia members patrolled area streets to assure safety.
Polling stations closed in Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Konstantinovka and Druzhkovka.
Some opened elsewhere. It didn't matter. Ballots weren't available.
It bears repeating. Putschist-approved candidates alone competed. Ballot choices excluded democracy. Fascism won easily.
Ukrainians had no say whatever. Legitimacy was nowhere in sight.
A Final Comment
Runoff voting won't be needed if exit polls are accurate. Three were conducted.
Organizations involved included the Ilk Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives foundation, the Kiev International Institute of Sociology, and the Alexander Razumkov Ukrainian Center for Economic and Political Research.
They had Petro Proroshenko at around 56%. Runner-up Yulia Tymoshenko scored 12%.
At 12:00 GMT, voter turnout was 40%. Some irregularities were reported. They included vote-buying. More information will be known later.
It's unclear how long before final vote tallies are known. On Friday, CyberBerkut hackers said they destroyed Ukraine's Central Election Commission electronic system.
If true and hand-counting follows, perhaps days are needed to complete it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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