November 28, 2004
Revealed: the full story of the Ukrainian election fraudTopics: International News
News Telegraph, UK, Report (Filed: 28/11/2004)
For the average American citizen who is wondering just what the fuss is all about in the Ukraine, this article provides the perspective needed to understand the conflict between the pro-Russian candidate Mr Yanukovich, the prime minister, and the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko:
It was 5.30pm on election day in Ukraine when the thugs in masks arrived armed with rubber truncheons.
Vitaly Kizima, an election monitor at Zhovtneve in Ukraine's Sumy region, watched in horror as 30 men in tracksuits stormed into the village polling station.
"They started to beat voters and election officials, trying to push through towards the ballot boxes," he told The Telegraph.
"People's faces were cut from blows to the head. There was blood all over."
The thugs - believed to be loyal to the pro-Russian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich from his stronghold, Donetsk - were repulsed only when locals pushed them back and a policeman fired warning shots.
The catalogue of abuses in the contest between Mr Yanukovich, the prime minister, and his opponent, the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko, is growing longer by the day.
Ukraine is split, with the western, Europe-leaning regions voting overwhelmingly for Mr Yushchenko while the eastern part of the country - where many speak Russian - backing Mr Yanukovich.
Maya Syta, a journalist working at polling station 73 in a Kiev suburb, witnessed ballot papers destroyed with acid poured into a ballot box. "The officials were taking them out of the box and they couldn't understand why they were wet," she said.
"Then I saw they started to blacken and disintegrate as if they were burning. Two ballots were wrapped up into a tube with a yellow liquid inside. After a few moments they were completely eaten up."
In her polling station, 26 ballots were destroyed and had to be invalidated. Six other cases were recorded of ballots destroyed by acid.
The most common trick was "carousel" voting, in which busloads of Yanukovich supporters simply drove from one polling station to another casting multiple false absentee ballots.
In another brazen fraud recorded by observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, voters were given pens filled with ink that disappeared, leaving ballots unmarked and invalid. Read More...
Posted by Hyscience at November 28, 2004 4:35 PM
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- Revealed: the full story of the Ukrainian election fraud - Nov 28, 2004