Ukrainian Choice

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Ukrainian Choice logo

All-Ukrainian Social Movement "Ukrainian Choice" (Russian: Всеукраинское общественное движение «Украинский выбор», Ukrainian: Всеукраїнський громадський рух «Український вибір») is a pro-Russian NGO in Ukraine.[1][2] It was initiated by and is led by the business tycoon Viktor Medvedchuk. The party was founded in April, 2012. Ukrainian Choice opposes European Union and NATO membership of Ukraine and would prefer instead Ukraine's membership in Eurasian Economic Space. The group also wants "decentralization of power followed by the transition to a federal structure, while maintaining the territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine".[3]

Ukrainian Choice also emphasizes Slavic Orthodox values: in July, 2013, it organized a conference on the topic "Orthodox-Slavic values - the basics of the civilizational choice of Ukraine", where Vladimir Putin held a speech.[4] (Putin is the godfather of Medvedchuk's 2004 born daughter Darina).[5]

According to The New York Times the group aimed at stopping former president Viktor Yanukovych to sign Ukraine's Association Agreement with the European Union.[4] In a leaked, but its contents has been corroborated by a former security source in Ukraine, June 2013 Russian ordered consultation document the Russian government wanted Ukrainian Choice to influence public opinion.[3] At the time Medvedchuk and the organization had marginal popular support in Ukraine.[6]

In the fall of 2013 Ukrainian Choice ran an aggressive anti-gay ad campaign warning against decayed values in the Western world.[4] Some of the adds claimed that association with the European Union would mean the legalization of same-sex marriage.[1] At the time Medvedchuk described the European Union as the modern heir to the Third Reich.[4]

Ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk has stated that "The Ukrainian Choice is not a Ukrainian choice, but a choice of Russia in Ukraine".[7]