MOSCOW, May 20 (RIA Novosti) – The population of southeastern Ukraine does not trust Kiev’s current authorities as there is nobody who protects their interests in the country’s capital, Evgeniy Kopatko, a Ukrainian sociologist and director of Research and Branding Group, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.
“Why doesn’t the southeast listen to the new authorities? Because there is not a single trustworthy representative of this region in Kiev. And people understand that nobody will protect their interests in the capital,” Kopatko said.
According to the expert, the lack of a candidate from the Russian-speaking southeast region in the presidential race is an unprecedented situation in the history of Ukraine.
“The main distinction of the upcoming elections is that a representative from the southeast does not have any real chance to equally participate in the presidential campaign,” Kopatko noted.
Last month, Oleh Tsarev, a Ukrainian presidential candidate and an active pro-federalization supporter, announced that he had withdrawn from the race after being beaten and threatened by nationalist radicals.
Tsarev claimed that Ukrainian authorities deprived him of the opportunity “to carry the voice of the southeast” to the citizens of the rest of country. The car of another presidential candidate, Mikhail Dobkin, was later attacked in Kiev.
The Ukrainian Parliament scheduled early presidential elections after a regime change in February led to the ouster of legitimate president Victor Yanukovich.