There’s electoral bribery and then there’s electoral bribery:
There were no voter lists, no recognised observers, and only one real candidate. But for voters who turned out for Sunday’s rebel-organised elections in eastern Ukraine, there were plenty of cut-price root vegetables.
At polls in the self-declared “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, stalls outside were selling beetroots, potatoes, onions and carrots for barely a few pence per sack.
Who was subsidising the election-cum-farmers’ market was not quite clear. But it was widely suspected to be an attempt by the region’s new leaders to maximise voter turnout – and give the polls a much-needed stamp of legitimacy.
How shittily run does a place have to be to make cheap beetroot an incentive to get out and vote? This is proof of almost Soviet levels of economic incompetence.