The situation is quite unfamiliar for Europe but more similar to post-soviet Eastern-bloc countries: while the majority of the liberals and moderate right-wingers support oppositional candidate, former prime-minister Victor Yuschenko, - most part of his support comes not from them , but from the "common people", tired to live under criminalised authorities. The presidential candidate from the authorities' side, Mr. Victor Yanukovych (current prime-minister) became a living incarnation of their fears: twice criminally convicted for assault, beating and robbery, one of the people who became rich under illegal corrupted "privatisation" schemes, a person, who publicly called his opponents "assholes".
During the recent 10 years the authoritarian tendencies in Ukraine became stronger, and to secure the dominance of the president, the blatant censorship was introduced in media. Combined with economic problems, everyday uncontrollable police brutality and further submission to Russia's regional interests, it led to popular discontent even among usually patient Ukrainians.
In the recent weeks the authorities, scared by losing the battle, more and more actively are trying to suppress opposition and all those who are taking activist stance in any field. The stuff of the only non-censored TV Channel in Ukraine - "5th Channel" - are on hunger strike for the third day because of the authorities' desicion to close it down. Offices of several NGOs, concerned with voters' rights and financed by the West, were raided and searched, as well as several houses of the activists of different kind. In one of the offices there was a bomb "found" - under all accounts just brought there by police, - which gave a pretext to open a criminal case.
Protesters at opposition rally are attacked by plainclothed police armed with empty bottles and hammers. People who go to that rally have their buses' tyres cut by traffic police. Etc., etc.
This is just a very short summary of the recent two pre-electoral weeks. Nowadays there's a common fear that the election night's events can turn into a bloodshed as far as a big number of troops and police are massed in Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
One of the alternative, non-commercial Ukrainian political news web-sites, operated by the team of the volonteers, launched an English-language newswire, which will be updated as they will be translated by the translators' team:
Please don't ignore the events and news from the biggest country of Europe. It's not about elections anymore - it's about the right to stay against the pressure, about the freedom of speech and about the right not to live in fear.
In the coming days people who are going to go out to the streets of Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities may need your support.