As Russia Blog has written before, we are open to publishing our readers views and comments to spark discussions on Russia-related topics. Here's an article by our reader.
by Kim Zigfeld (a/k/a La Russophobe)
Victor Yanukovich, candidate for the presidency of Ukraine, is a convicted criminal, having been sentenced to three years in prison for robbery in 1967. No sooner was he released than he was convicted of assault and battery in 1970 and sentenced to two more years in prison. In 1978 he was prosecuted a third time, but this time acquitted.
Yanukovich joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1980.
An electrician by training, he does not have a genuine undergraduate diploma but only a degree he obtained through a correspondence school. He then obtained various higher degrees through vague periods of study. His knowledge of Ukrainian language is extremely poor and his handwritten documents on the record are full of linguistic errors.
Yanukovich is closely linked to organized crime, particularly the dreaded Clan of Donetsk, headed by Rinat Akhmetov, and he has also been linked to the Russian KGB as a mole.
Yanukovich was a member of the Kuchma administration which was fundamentally corrupt and utterly repudiated by Ukrainian voters.
Here is what the World Socialism Website had to say about Yanukovich's recent election "victory":
It has taken little more than a year for this "revolution" to expose itself before the Ukrainian masses for the reactionary fraud it always was. From the beginning, Yushchenko and Timoshenko based themselves largely on middle-class, anticommunist layers that opposed the old Soviet system and its remnants in the Kuchma regime not out of hostility to Stalinist repression and corruption, but because it limited their strivings for wealth and privilege. Those who took to the streets out of genuine hatred for Kuchma and the oligarchs were cynically manipulated by the "democratic" impostors and their Western sponsors.
In the final analysis, moreover, Yushchenko, Timoshenko and Yanukovich all represent rival oligarchic clans--some, mainly in the east of the country, more closely tied to Russia and the remnants of the state economy; others, mainly in the west, more closely linked to US and European interests. Yushchenko's initial steps towards his "free market" policy only intensified the social crisis facing broad masses of Ukrainian working people. In 2005, the economy grew by a mere 2 percent, compared with 12 percent in 2004. Inflation is averaging 13 percent. Poverty and inequality have reached record levels. The social crisis reached a high point last December, when Russia for a time cut off gas supplies to Ukraine, and only restored the flow of energy on the basis of a new and far higher pricing scale. This crisis evidently brought home for many workers the economic damage caused by the breaking apart of Russia and Ukraine, whose economies were closely integrated within the Soviet framework.
In other words, the people of Ukraine justly suffered for daring to dissolve the Communist paradise of the Soviet Union, soon to be restored by Comrade Yanukovich.
Yanukovich is surrounded by pro-Russian propaganda and blatant disinformation. Writing in Russia Profile, a group of Russians claimed that "in no way is Victor Yanokovich a pro-Russian political figure. In fact, he plays the 'Russian card' skillfully, capitalizing on Moscow's integrationist illusions. It is likely that he would be more successful than Yulia Tymoshenko at renegotiating the gas deal with Russia. He was one of former-President Leonid Kuchma's closest associates, and Kuchma was never Moscow's biggest admirer." This is obvious propaganda, coming from a member of Russian Duma and a MIGIMO professor. Apparently, the wily Yanokovich duped the clueless Vladimir Putin into formally endorsing Yanokovich and spending millions to support his election campaign. Apparently he also duped the entire Duma, which formally congratulated Yanukovich on his "victory" in being the most popular candidate in the most recent elections (even though the Orange Coalition formed the government). This is the sort of ludicrous propaganda Russia is prepared to put forth regarding Yanukovich, easily worthy of the old ham-handed USSR tactics that brought Russia to its knees.