Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ukrainian politicians on Facebook and Twitter

Last night I have composed another GV post about the way our politicians use Facebook and Twitter. It is largely based on analysis by with some of my comments. The version I'm sharing here is somewhat shorter and excludes detailed analysis of seven most active politicians/parties' online behavior. For full text please refer to the link included above.

With over a million of Ukrainians using [uk] Facebook and over 80,000 users [en] on Twitter, more and more Ukrainian politicians choose to join these services. Currently, there are over 50 of them on Facebook and over 20 political parties and their individual members on Twitter. Ukrainian Internet-business and social media marketing website has set up a real-time popularity ranking [uk] of politicians’ accounts on these two services.

Ukrainian politicians’ popularity on Facebook and Twitter

According to, as of April 12, 2011, most popular Facebook pages were: opposition leader “Batkivshchyna” (uk. Fatherland) party head Yulia Tymoshenko’s (fake), with 5,421 “likes”; MP Lesya Orobets', with 2,229 “likes”; and deputy head of “Batkivshchyna” Oleksandr Turchynov's, with 1,602 “likes”.

Facebook accounts with 5,000 friends belonged to MPs Mykola Tomenko and Oles Doniy, leader of the right-wing party VO “Svoboda” (uk. Freedom) Oleh Tyahnybok had 4,995 friends, MP Lesya Orobets – 4,789 friends.

Most popular (verified) Twitter accounts belonged to: Yulia Tymoshenko – 12,832 followers, “Sylna Ukraina” (uk. Strong Ukraine) party leader and Vice Prime Minister Serhiy Tihipko – 4,294 followers, and Lesya Orobets – 4,197 followers.

Politicians’ activity on online social networks

On April 4, 2011, Maksym Savanevsky of also published an analysis [uk] of the politicians' online activity on Facebook and Twitter. 

Main conclusion of the analysis is that not a single political force has some sort of a strategy of operating in online environment. Some even demonstrate very low understanding of the technical side of things.

Nevertheless, the number of politicians on Twitter is likely to continue to increase due to the simplicity of the service and its successful utilization by Yulia Tymoshenko [the first Ukrainian politician to have a "verified account" on Twitter].  After joining the micro blogging tool, she has accumulated 12,000 followers in a little over a month and a half.

(Full translation of Maksym's major findings can be found here).

Social media, Ukrainian government and the opposition

Although online activity of Ukrainian politicians continues to increase, the number of those personally present on social networks remains comparatively low. This can be explained by the fact that the majority of political actors still perceive television as the main channel of communication with the electorate, and control over television – as the key [uk] to political success. However, taking into account the deteriorating press freedom [en] in Ukraine, it is understandable why most politicians who actively utilize social media (see rankings above) represent the opposition.

As for the President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych, according to official sources, he has no accounts on social media networks [uk], including Twitter. A fake Twitter account @PresidentUA that seems to mirror some official announcements from the official presidential website currently has almost 2,000 followers, and another one, @Prezident_UA, has 715. A fake Twitter account that impersonates the Ukrainian PM Mykola Azarov (@PremierUkraine) has over 1,300 followers.

Back in 2009, the previous Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko set up a Twitter account @President_UA (see this GVpost), which apparently was maintained by his press-service. However, many Internet users criticized it for being boring and generally demonstrating a very low expertise with using the micro-blogging tool.


  1. Same with Indonesia, Tetyana. Our politicians also using FB or Twitter for campaign to gain voters sympathy.

  2. Dear Tikno, are most of them from opposition as in Ukraine or from both sides?

  3. both sides, some of them also a blogger.