Ukrainian socialist Vitaliy Dudin recently stood in the Parliamentary elections in the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih. Standing on an openly left-wing program as an activist of the “Social Movement” he gained a small vote.  It was however an invaluable experience with man lessons.  We publish below Vitaliy’s initial thoughts.

I got 328 votes. I want to go beyond the official report and add some colour to this report. Although the situation, of course, is not very bright. There are some many impressions, enough for a whole book, too many for this post. Here are the key ones.

– This result came from sheer enthusiasm. The number of billboards I had: 0. With proper management and application of 100%, maximum resources, it was possible to bring the vote for me up to 1-3%. To get more votes than that you need a party.

-Had I not taken part in these elections I would have remained happy in the illusion that left wing ideas are popular in the Kryviy Rih Basin. In truth a lot of people here have forgotten about the benefits that independent trade unions can bring them. We reminded them.

-I hope that after these elections the tempo at which the city is degrading will slow down, the big capitalists will lose their representatives in government and the trade unions will get their chance.

I found sympathisers in different cities of Ukraine and far beyond it as well. Had I won these elections, obviously I would have halted in my own development. This way I have an incentive to deliver on my promises.

I am somewhat indifferent to the fact that my name became a symbol for the hopes of hundreds of people. Socialist ideas should unite us, not any one person.

I still can’t believe that I collected enough money for the deposit/pledge. Thanks to every one of you!

May Day 2019 in Kryvyi Rih