12:05 GMT +326 March 2019
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    Election campaigning kicks off in Ukraine

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    MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti, Alexei Makarkin, deputy general director of the Center of Political Technologies) - The dismissal of the Tymoshenko government means the start of an election campaign in Ukraine.

    After Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic was ousted, the late premier Djindjic became a consistent opponent of new President Kostunica. The only difference is that disagreements in Central Europe are largely related to ideological matters. Djindjic was a classic pro-western liberal, while Kostunica was a national democrat. The issues of infighting and property division were also important there, but still secondary. In Ukraine, these are the most essential matters.

    Yushchenko and Tymoshenko differ little on principal issues. But even their differences (for example, Tymoshenko's populism), seem more like PR moves geared toward forthcoming elections.

    Now Tymoshenko will be seeking the role of chief opposition leader, focusing on anti-oligarchic and anti-corruption rhetoric. But Tymoshenko's positions have been considerably weakened by the forced resignation of Petro Poroshenko, her team's main engine. Tymoshenko and her political allies, especially former Secretary of State Oleksandr Zinchenko, have made a venturous move.

    They have sacrificed the image of the Orange Revolution, which has now faded due to the corruption scandal, in which Poroshenko is embroiled, to maximally weaken the positions of their opponents before the official launch of electoral campaigning. Tymoshenko expects to win and regain her post after the elections (moreover, the role of the head of the government will rise significantly after the political reform is carried out in the country).

    But a retake on the revolution is unlikely because new turmoil will deprive Ukraine of even illusive chances to get integrated into the West. Even the young people who camped out on Freedom Square in Kiev in support of Yushchenko during the Orange Revolution are unlikely to follow the leaders who have quarreled among themselves.

    For this reason, the electoral campaign is unlikely to come off extreme. Ukrainians who have grown tired of scandals might even support some third force, for example, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament and former President Leonid Kuchma's chief of staff Vladimir Litvin, who could find support in the country's pro-Russian central and eastern regions.

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