This article explores the political, economic, and social forces underlying the east/west cleavage in the 1994 Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections. We demonstrate that economic factors—notably, variations in regional economic strength and changes in employment in the period preceding the elections—are stronger predictors of country-wide voting behavior and candidate support than ethnic and linguistic factors. The exceptions are the extreme eastern and western oblasts, where the analysis suggests the existence of significant differences in political culture.

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