The Orange Revolution?

Just a quick update on events in Ukraine today. Mass protests are still taking place in Kiev and Lviv, and the rumoured crackdown by security forces on protestors during the night didn’t take place. Yushchenko has asked the protestors in Kiev to march to Ukraine’s Parliament which is debating the elections. I can’t read it, but the Parliament’s website is here. Wikipedia’s page on the election is being updated frequently, and also has a map showing the quite stark east/west divide between Yushchenko and Yanukovich.

If you know of any more information please add it into the comments, or mail us, and we’ll update this post as the day goes on.

Update (by Tobias, 14:10 CET):It seems that, seeing the wave of protests in Kiev, the international coverage and criticism of the election Ukrainian presidential results is getting more vociferous – and a little hopeful.

According to the BBC’s Helen Fawkes, the opposition’s main objective now is to have the Ukrainian “parliament to pass a vote of no-confidence in the central electoral commission and to refuse to recognise the result of the ballot.”

In marked – albeit widely expected – difference to the Russian election observers – who declared the voting “transparent, legitimate and free,” according to CNN/Interfax – both OSCE and US observers are united in their assessment of a rigged election – including not too unreasonable claims by Mr Yushchenko, about having been poisened.

Senator Richard Lugar, the US’ official observer, summarized the feelings of the people on Kiev’s streets: It was “concerted and forceful” fraud.

According to CNN, all EU countries have now summoned the Ukranian ambassadors. AP reports that German Foreign Minister Fischer has demanded a recount and expressed his hopes for a peaceful resolution of the current situation.

And as Nick indicated above, so far, no violent suppression of the protests has occured, despite reports about “the road leading to parliament turned into a river of orange – the campaign colour of Mr Yushchenko” (BBC) and claims by security forces to crack down on any “lawlessness”.

Even though this live feed (via the TulipGirl) showing Kiev’s main square doesn’t show 100,000 people at the moment, Ukrainian Journalist/Blogger Veronica Khoklova is right to claim in her blog that

Something IS going on there, definitely.

Update 2: (By Doug Merrill) Germany’s leaders, both government and opposition, are calling for a recount in Ukraine’s election. Foreign minister Fischer has called in the Ukrainian ambassador to express his views directly.

Various media (Spiegel Online, Polish television, though not yet BBC or CNN) are reporting that Yuschenko’s supporters are forming up to march on Parliament. Poland’s largest newspaper has splashed the Yushchenko rally across its entire front page, and the online article begins roughly, “The night was peaceful – what will the day bring?”

One of the most widely circulated pictures of Yushchenko shows him holding up a rose — the symbol of the Georgian revolution. Reports are of up to 200,000 people in the main square to support Yushchenko.

Some significant things have not happened. A feared crackdown and clearing of the square at 3am last night did not take place. There are not reports of mass public support for Yanukovych in his strongholds. The rally in Kiev has not turned violent. Police and armed forced appear to be staying neutral. While these are only signs, they are good signs.

Update 3: (Nick) A few links: Photos from Blog de Cannard, links on einsordenull, the Kyiv Post is a Ukrainian newspaper in English, Europhobia keeps finding more links and Neeka has some news on what’s happening in the Parliament as they discuss it. Reports (such as this one from the BBC as well as Neeka) suggest that Yushcehnko’s supporters have turned up to to Parliament but Yanukovich’s supporters and the Communists are staying away, meaning that there are insufficient members there to pass a motion of no confidence in the election commission.

5 thoughts on “The Orange Revolution?

  1. I hate to jinx it, because I’m so often wrong about these things, but I think it’s clearly advantage Yushchenko at this point. I am hopeful. But I don’t think this depends on the Russians or the Americans or the EU. I think it depends on the size and strength of the demonstrations.

  2. hi, all.
    we are ukrainian patriot people.
    look all, welcome to Ukraine all progressive democratic people for support the spirit of Orange Revolution.
    we live in Kiev and we glad to see you in oure country, in oure city.
    join as!

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