This paper considers Ukrainian politics from 1994 to 2004 (the term of Leonid Kuchma’s presidency) from the standpoint of ‘‘machine politics.’’ Many authors have argued that Ukraine and other post-Soviet states have combined elections with partly authoritarian regimes. The concept of machine politics, applied in this paper, helps explain how they do it. The paper then considers how and why the Kuchma machine collapsed in the ‘‘Orange Revolution’’ of 2004, and the comparative lessons of the Ukrainian experience.

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