In the Ukrainian political lexicon, the term ‘Left’ usually refers to parties that are to the left of both social democracy in its traditional understanding and to the left of several Ukrainian social democratic parties. In fact, Ukrainian politics lacks a genuine and strong social democratic party; the formerly influential but marginalized since the Orange Revolution Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United), SDPU(o), represented oligarchic interests while other social democratic parties are insignificant. The reasons for slow progress in the evolution of center-left parties are the loss of social democratic traditions after seventy years of Soviet rule; independent trade unions remained weak; there still was a small (although growing) middle class; Ukrainian parties, in general, are not programmatic and usually are built around one leader or are controlled by business groups
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