Ukrainian Blues

Yanukovych's Rise, Democracy's Fall

In February 2010, Viktor Yanukovych made a remarkable political comeback. In the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, Yanukovych, who was then Ukraine's prime minister and the handpicked successor to President Leonid Kuchma, was accused of fraud and ousted by the Orange Revolution, which was led by Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko. Just over five years later, surrounded by his party's blue-and-white banners, Yanukovych became president. When it first came to power, Ukraine's Orange government seemed like it would fulfill popular demands for radical political reform and rapid integration into Europe. But those expectations were quickly dashed. Yushchenko, as president, and Tymoshenko, as prime minister, …

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