Ukraine's short history of political campaigns has seen a lot. But political and economic events surrounding a phantom outbreak of swine flu shocked not only Ukrainians but also the rest of the world.
"We had to create a phantom and then have a white knight riding in to save the day," Taras Berezovets, a senior campaign advisor for Tymoshenko's BYuT bloc, told me (Julia Ioffe) in a Kiev restaurant, confirming widespread suspicions among Ukrainian journalists. According to a campaign adviser to Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian prime minister who is also a presidential candidate purposely inflated fears of an ongoing swine-flu epidemic to aid her presidential run."
The Washington Post's Philip Pan has another great article about idiocracy surrounding H1N1 outbreak in Ukraine.
Finally, the Slate's Anne Applebaum discusses a chain of events emerged in a response to Ukraine's panicking about the phantom outbreak of swine flu.