Poisoning, 'Dead Souls' Mar Election

"This anti-Americanism ... reflects the very schizophrenic view of Ukrainian foreign policy," he said. "On the one hand you have Yanukovych lobbying in Washington to the tune of over $1 million since March 2003, sending Ukrainian troops to Iraq, where they are fourth-largest contingent, and at the same time undertaking this highly unusual Brezhnev-era style anti-American campaign, which, of course, is linked to anti-Yushchenko campaign because Yushchenko's wife is an American citizen still."

The anti-American campaigning has been used particularly in the east and south, areas that are predominantly rural and Russian-speaking, and that have solidly supported Yanukovych.

Playing on Fear

Those are also areas, Hrytsak said, where there is little access to Internet, and those no access to information about Yushchenko and his campaign that is not colored by the government. It is there that Yushchenko has been most strongly painted as an ardent Ukrainian nationalist.

That portrait is a misrepresentation of Yushchenko's message, Hrytsak said.

"What he's talking about is the dignity of Ukraine as a nation, not about the religious and linguistic differences," he said.

Yushchenko's support is strongest in the country's cities, and among students, intellectuals and business people, Hrytsak said. But not all the support is because the former bank chief has such a positive image himself.

"The most dynamic elements of the society resent the message sent to them by the government," he said. "They may not like Yushchenko in all occasions, but they are voting against Yanukovych, and that means voting for Yushchenko."

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