Ukrainians return for a third time to vote in their Presidential elections tomorrow, December 26. Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, Global Information System, reports in Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily (December 24, 2004) on his observations as part of a team of election monitors in the first two rounds. Bodansky contends that the elections were free, fair, and legal (though, significantly, he does not mention the poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko). He sees the unprecedented move of repeating a Presidential election to be caused by the pressure of Western Europe and the United States, along with a pre-planned post-election propaganda war by the Yushchenko campaign. He notes that no one on his team saw anyone conducting exit polls in the second round, undermining the claims of the Yushchenko campaign that the results of these polls are evidence of fraud. On the subject of exit polls, see Which Side Attempted a Fraud in the Ukraine?
for a discussion of an earlier story in Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily: "Extent of Soros-Linked Involvement Becoming Clear in Attempting to Seize Ukraine Elections for Yuschenko (December 3, 2004).
Bodansky is perplexed that the United States would side with the Western European support for Yuschenko's "coup attempt." He notes that Yuschenko, on the eve of the elections, gave assurances to the leaders of Germany, France and Spain that once elected he would immediately withdraw Ukrainian troops from Iraq. On the other hand, Viktor Yanukovich told Washington and Moscow that the Ukrainian contingent would not leave Iraq until the last U.S. troops left.
My guess is that U.S. statements of support for the "Orange Revolution" were initiated unilaterally by factions within the State Department that are dubious of, if not opposed to, the Bush Administration's Iraq policies. Continuing speculations about the source of the dioxin poisoning of Viktor Yushchenko
prevent the Administration from any action other than awaiting the results of Sunday's third round of elections.
Labels: Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily, Global Information System, Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, Yossef Bodansky