Myth 9. Poroshenko was elected only by people from Western and Central Ukraine, as it was not possible to vote on early presidential elections in the East of Ukraine and in Crimea
In fact, Poroshenko won elections in all but one District Election Commissions (nearly 2 hundreds) located all over Ukraine. Moreover, at 106 DECs more than a half of voters gave him theirs votes. On the map below, the electoral support for Poroshenko is shown. As one could see, Poroshenko received overwhelming support throughout Ukraine.
Moreover, Central Election Commission of Ukraine started a project that simplifies the process of changing the voting address. Thus, residents of areas with non-operational polling stations could signed to vote into another precinct beforehand. In fact, this opportunity was used not only by residents of a warzone in the East, but also by Crimean citizens, as they went to Kherson, the nearest oblast, to vote.
Myth 10. Europe already imposed sanctions, including targeted ones, and sanctions work
European foreign policy towards Ukrainian Crisis is now based on a rational actors approach. The West is convinced that measures oriented towards weakening of Russian economy will make atrocities of war go away. However, I believe that Putin’s goals are not rational but more ideological ones. In fact, he does not care about his personal earnings or conditions of Russian elite, as he simply does not see a threat under existing authoritarian regime. The logic that the supply of luxuries and essential import products can swing Putin, underpins the EU sanctions. However, Putin is obsessed with the idea of increasing the Russian power and restoring the Soviet Union, as he frequently mentioned that the former Soviet countries are the artificial ones.
Mychailo Wynnyckyj, Associate Professor of National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” and one of influential academics well-known for his “Thoughts from Kyiv” reflections on Ukrainian Revolution, indentifies two main reasons why sanctions are not influential enough:
a) Russian strategy could not be explained in terms of rational theory as “Russia is not a rational actor that recognizes the norms of international law (Crimea proved that, but it took MH17 to bring the issue home to Europeans and Australians)“;
b) as a result of non-rational forces of Putin’s authoritarian regime, “it is largely immune to such rationally grounded countermeasures as economic sanctions and/or international political isolation”. Wynnyckyj believes that
Even though majority of Russians outside the Moscow and Saint-Pietersburg are living in non-acceptable living condition, they still express support to Putin. Thus, Putin does not care about any public opinion or discourse in Russia. Putin’s goal is to destroy Ukraine, cutting its territory into two along the Dnipro river, and then taking a swath of land along the Black Sea coast for ‘Novorossiya’…Unfortunately, neither economic sanctions against Russia, nor provision of direct military aid to Ukraine (both short term measures) will be sufficient to undermine these strategic goals.
There is nothing to argue with in these statement.