On Sunday, most of Ukraine will be able to go to the polls to vote for a new president to replace the “interim” President Oleksandr Turchinov. Only 23 of 34 districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts are expected to open at all, meaning large numbers of voters in the east won’t be going anywhere at all.
The Obama Administration doesn’t need to wait to see the results to know what they think, however, and are already going to bat for the election, defending its credibility despite the election not covering major protester-held cities in the east.
The State Department treated 23 out of 34 as good “despite the difficult environment,” insisting that the vote is nationwide anyhow, and covers more than just that region.
Rather than expressing any misgivings about that, they insisted that the interim government had done everything to allow people to vote, and blamed Russia for any potential inability to vote that takes place in the east.
That’s in keeping with the position Secretary of State John Kerry staked out earlier this month, threatening to sanction Russia in retaliation for any problems with the Ukrainian vote.