The fact that Ukraine works as a real democracy, albeit a troubled one, is often cited as perhaps the most important aspect of the election. Unlike the Potemkin elections in neighboring Russia and Belarus, the contest in Ukraine offered voters a real choice, with the outcome unknown.
From the ever-amusing NYT, 31 March 2019
Ummm. Let us reason together. Poroshenko’s popularity is in the single digits; Ukrainians have the lowest trust in the government in the world; Ukraine’s experience since Maidan has been lawlessness, corruption and poverty. Putin, on the other hand, gets headlines in the NYT and other propaganda outlets when his popularity falls below 60%; Russians support their government and its performance under Putin and his team has been remarkable. As far as Belarus is concerned, it and Ukraine started out in about the same situation after the end of the USSR. Potyomkin indeed!