Ukraine held local elections last Sunday, 25 October. In the run-up to the vote, the eastern city of Slovyansk witnessed its first public debate of mayoral candidates last Wednesday.
EED-supported Hromadske TV Donbas organised the debate in cooperation with the movement “Strong Communities of Donetsk Region”.
Slovyansk mayoral candidates discussed their party programmes. Residents were encouraged to actively participate in the debate and ask questions. On its YouTube channel, the debate was viewed 2,000 times. Social media was also actively used, and many Facebook users shared the link.
The local election was an important litmus test in Slovyansk. Among the first cities in the Donbas region taken by the separatists in April 2014, it was taken under control of the Ukrainian army in July 2014.
The Sunday election was ultimately won by the “Opposition Bloc” party, the former “Party of Regions”.
Voter turnout was low at 28.63%.
Hromadske TV Donbas – which unites a number of journalists from the region – opened its Slovyansk office in autumn 2014. The Russian-language TV provides unbiased news from the ground to audiences on both sides of the Ukrainian-Russian border. EED helped Donetsk Institute for Information launch Hromadske TV Donbas in March 2014, and continues to support its development.
Watch the debate online here (in Russian)