Conspiracy theories in Ukraine draw on inherited Soviet political culture and political technology imported from Russia where such ideas had gained ascendancy under President Vladimir Putin. Eastern Ukrainian and Russian elites believed that the US was behind the 2000 Serbian Bulldozer, 2003 Georgian Rose and 2004 Orange democratic revolutions. The Kuchmagate crisis, impending succession crisis, 2004 presidential elections and Orange Revolution – all of which took up most of Leonid Kuchma’s second term in office – were the first significant domestic threats to Ukraine’s new, post-communist ruling elites and in response Ukraine’s elites revived Soviet style theories of conspiracies and ideological tirades against the US and Ukrainian nationalism. Opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko became the focal point against which the conspiracies and tirades were launched because his support base lay in ‘nationalist’ Western Ukraine and he has a Ukrainian-American spouse. The revival of Soviet style conspiracy theories has become important since Viktor Yanukovyc’s election as Ukrainian president in 2010 because this political culture permeates his administration, government and Party of Regions determining their worldview and influencing their domestic and foreign policies.

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