Ukraine's National Election – a Problem of Democracy?

  • January 14, 2010
  • By Erin Carrier-Kretschmer

The Orange Revolution in Ukraine helped to usher pro-Western liberal Viktor Yushchenko into the president's office in 2005. Yushchenko promised to fight corruption, reform the economy and seek better relations with the West. Five years later, on the eve of new elections, Ukraine's economy is in free fall, corruption is still widespread and NATO membership remains elusive. Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych is circling with promises of a return to stability and a closer relationship with Russia.

Findings from a September 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes project show that Ukrainians are not only disenchanted with their current leadership and economic situation; they are also broadly dissatisfied with the democratic and capitalist systems that evolved after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. In fact, of the former Eastern bloc publics surveyed, Ukrainians are the most unhappy with the transition to a democracy and free markets.

Read the full commentary Ukraine's National Election – a Problem of Democracy? on the Pew Research Center's Web site.