News / Europe

Ukraine Election Result Hints at Feelings of Betrayal

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko suffered a resounding defeat at the polls on Sunday as voters abandoned him for allegedly betraying the ideals of the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought him to power. 

Thousands of people once chanted Viktor Yushchenko's name on Kyiv's Independence Square, or Maidan.  Maidan has come to mean not only a place, but a historic event representing hopes for honest government and a sound economy.

A Ukranian man named Petro participated in the Orange Revolution.  He says the Maidan is considered sacred.

He says the entire world knew about the Orange Revolution, but now everything is back where it was.  He adds that everyone dispersed, all of the "good old boys" grabbed everything, and that's that.

Many voters say the good old boys include Mr. Yushchenko and members of his administration.  Voters suspect that the President's Orange Revolution ally and now bitter rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is also corrupt.  And former prime minister, Victor Yanukovych - the man Ms. Tymoshenko will face in a presidential run-off on February 7 - is allegedly tainted.  A ruling by Ukraine's Supreme Court found that his 2004 presidential bid was riddled with fraud.

In 2004, people pounded drums and danced in the streets, hoping for honest leaders and a strong economy.  The 2010 election comes amid doubts about both.

Physicist turned small businessman Bohdan Markevych says the leaders of the Orange Revolution should think about why people are disillusioned.

But Markevych says that in defense of the leaders, they did what they could.  He adds that those who opposed them should not be happy about people's disenchantment or think they will win popular support.  "No," says Markevych, "Ukrainians remain true to their understanding that their nation must have dignity."

He says the Maidan will guide young people throughout their lives.  And he says the Orange Revolution is still the envy of democratically-minded people in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

Olexiy Haran is a Ukrainian political scientist. Haran says that the revolution brought many things - democracy, freedom of speech and democratic elections.  As a result, the government and the opposition exchange power.

The Maidan has yet to fully deliver on its economic and political promises.  But Ukrainians seem to believe that the Orange Revolution set high standards by which the country's politicians will be judged in 2010 and beyond. 

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid