10 reasons why chief editor of Kyiv Post is not after objectivity

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Chief Editor of Kyiv Post

In his latest op-ed piece “Reasons why Poroshenko will win & reasons why he will lose” the chief editor of the Kyiv Post Brian Bonner is not after objectivity one bit. Why? See for yourself.

“For months now, my conversation-starting question with all Ukrainians I meet is: Who will be the next president? Their answers provide plenty of ammunition for both possibilities about whether President Petro Poroshenko will win or lose re-election on March 31. I really don’t know”, he writes. So good, so far. Right? Well, not really, because here we see the first attempt to hide behind the numbers of Ukrainians, he has allegedly met. Western ambassadors or Ukraine’s diaspora will also come in handy later. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

Five reasons why Poroshenko will “win”, according to Bonner:

1. Weakness of opposition: “Most people I ask do not like Poroshenko and do not want him to be re-elected,” writes Bonner. And this is just the first sentence of the first reason why Poroshenko is supposed to win, mind that. Then goes some rumbling about how weak the other candidates are, which is true, of course, but this first reason ends with something that is supposed to stay in your memory – “Also, the minority of people I know who support Poroshenko do so ardently, arguing he is the best hope for the nation.” Yes, naturally, this is a reason to win.

2. International support: “Try to find a Western ambassador or many in Ukraine’s diaspora who have been critical of Poroshenko lately. It isn’t happening much at all.” Seems like to his great regret Bonner was unable to find any formidable source to quote on this one. “Many Western ambassadors simply have gone silent, calculating that Poroshenko is the best of a bad lot.” – manipulates he further. Because no one told him anything about a bad lot, that Poroshenko is allegedly a part of, so he just assumes whatever suits him. Yes, just like that, out of the blue.

“The biggest danger, however, is that the West will soften its vigilance in demanding a free and fair election, in hope of a Poroshenko win, as it did when Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma cheated their way to victories over communists in 1996 and 1999, respectively,” writes Bonner, implying that Poroshenko will surely rig the elections.

“He gives great speeches and has a knack for being in the right place at the right time,” he goes on. Interesting way to put it. I would like him to expand on this, but unfortunately, that is all we get. Also, coincidentally, very in line with the russian propaganda about how Poroshenko was just a spectator of the achievements we have seen during the past 5 years.

3. Nation at war: “Poroshenko hasn’t brought the nation closer to peace and he’s not fighting the war against Vladimir putin – the soldiers and the nation’s citizens get the credit for doing this,” writes Bonner. Yes, sure, let’s not mention the drastic condition the Ukrainian army was left in after his predecessor (Yanukovych) has fled the country and how much Poroshenko has spent his own money, the money of his company (Roshen), and efforts to build an international coalition against russia. Let’s just leave that out. Because, objectivity.

4. Visa-free regime: “Let’s face facts – objectively, this is a success, an undeniable accomplishment. The ability of Ukrainians to travel freely, however, will lead to two very dangerous developments for Ukraine’s political elite as: A) More Ukrainians decide to find ways to live abroad permanently and B) More traveling Ukrainians realize how much better life can be and return home, energized to demand more changes.” Yes, even this accomplishment, is not something to take without a grain of salt, according to the author.

5. EU free trade agreement: “While russia sadly remains Ukraine’s single largest investor and trade partner, Ukraine’s free trade agreement with the European Union provides a big impetus for the westward shift and escaping russia’s smothering embrace, bringing eventual prosperity.” Here, as in any of the five reasons, we hear about the sad situation in Ukraine, and how it almost doesn’t change anything. Not about the dynamics of the trade relations with the EU and russia, it is just about sadness. If you have forgotten for some reason, these were the 5 reasons why Poroshenko will win according to Bonner. Well, I am glad that Bonner is not going to be my advocate anytime soon.

And here are the five reasons why Poroshenko will lose, according to Bonner:

1. Betrayals: “Ukrainians who entrusted him to break up the oligarchy, fight corruption, establish justice and end russia’s war are so angry that he failed to deliver that they will vote for anybody but Poroshenko,” writes Bonner. Everything here is more or less incorrect. Euromaidan was mainly about heading West and also about dignity. Fighting corruption, breaking up the oligarchy? Not so much. Ending russia’s war? It hasn’t even started in the opinion of the majority back then. But even so, Bonner is not writing about extensive measures that were taken towards the realizations of these goals. You know, like the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, National Agency on Prevention of Corruption of Ukraine, electronic declarations, Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine and the list goes on.

2. Petty micromanager: “A president’s personality traits come across clearly after five years. Those who have crossed Poroshenko have stories of his hot temper, his micromanaging style and his vindictiveness. He seems to equate criticism of his policies with opposition to him personally. This is unbecoming of a strong democratic leader.” And yet, there is virtually no evidence to support these claims. Only “those who have crossed Poroshenko” know. Another point for being an independent journalist goes to Bonner.

3. Resistance to authoritarianism: “Ukrainians have shown a strong desire to limit the powers of any one individual. And the most democratic and peaceful way of doing so is by voting out the incumbent, which Ukrainians have done time and again. Many people think Poroshenko will be more autocratic and less democratic in a second term.” Again, some people, and what is more important – many of them think something about Poroshenko. The facts, on the other hand, show nothing to support that Poroshenko is or will ever be an autocratic leader. Surely not the decentralization reform, he was pushing for. Also, no other Ukrainian president showed so much appreciation for being among the people.

4. Maldives vacation: “Poroshenko’s $500,000, six-day Maldives vacation during the 2018 winter holidays showed how disconnected the billionaire oligarch is from the people he governs, the majority of whom have average yearly wages of less than $5,000.” Yes, finally the most unsubstantiated claims of them all – $500,000. Why, what, where? Doesn’t matter. You can name any other number and it is going to be as true as this one. Journalism at its best. Lie and then rely on what was lied before.

5. Oligarchy: “When push comes to shove, Poroshenko has shown himself to be more interested in protecting than ending the status quo of oligarchic control of politics and the economy.” Sure that is why Kolomoisky has lost control over Ukrnafta and Privatbank, Firtash seems to have left the country for good, and Akhmetov is silent as a mouse. Also, all of the TV-channels, that belong to oligarchs, are waging war against Poroshenko. Just a coincidence, just “being in the right place at the right time”, just passing by, nothing to see here.

Yes, it is just an opinion, but it is surprisingly biased and unsubstantiated for a journalist who has been living in a country for years. And it is definitely unacceptable for a person who is trying to pose as an independent voice of western journalism in Ukraine.

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