But restrictions in the election run-up and manipulation of vote counts took place on a massive scale, seriously damaging the country’s image. The election watchdog, the Vienna-based OSCE, and the EU observation mission concluded that the vote constituted a step backwards compared with those of 2008 and 2010.
The new electoral law virtually invites manipulation.
Access to the media was not equal, particularly in the case of Ukraine’s top information source – television. Leading opposition figures are still in prison, with Yulia Tymoshenko and Yuri Lutsenko as the prime examples.