DND Monitoring Team
Monitoring Desk: Gallup International indicates socio-economic issues, corruption and war in the Donbass are three top concerns of the Ukrainian population.
Director of the Centre for Eastern European and International Studies Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse in her conversation says that socio-economic issues, corruption and the ongoing war in the Donbass have been the three top concerns of the Ukrainian population for a while.
She believes that identity issues related to the war and corruption have figured prominently in the election campaign. In turn, they have crowded out a more detailed debate on social and economic policies.
The incumbent President Petro Poroshenko has built his campaign around his role as the defender of the Ukrainian nation against Russian aggression, while his opponents Yuliya Tymoshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky have tried to capitalize on the fact that the anti-corruption reforms have stalled under Poroshenko.
Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse believes that Tymoshenko has been the only candidate with a chance of winning who has tried to address socio-economic issues, mostly in the form of unrealistic promises, such as lowering utility tariffs. However, over time she has toned down this part of her campaign, focusing instead on Poroshenko’s failure to stop corruption and on his own alleged involvement in corruption.