In 2004, amendments were adopted that significantly changed Ukraine's political system. Citizens in other parts of the country also held local protests, demonstrations, and strikes. Viktor Yanukovych upon his inauguration as president of Ukraine, February 25, 2010. Registered users can login to the website. Yushchenko, supported by a united opposition, was expected to win the election. Many observers believed both trials were politically motivated. Ukraine's "orange revolution" is a genuine outpouring of popular sentiment for freedom and justice. The incumbent president, Leonid Kuchma, had personally chosen Yanukovych as his successor, but their political party was losing popular support. Once again the president’s party finished behind both Yanukovych’s and Tymoshenko’s parties. Several other cities also refused to recognize the results of the election, believing Yushchenko to be the true winner. It was just after 2 a.m. on November 22, 2004, when the call went out: “The time has come to defend your life and Ukraine. Presidential elections were held in Ukraine on 31 October, 21 November and 26 December 2004. While the United States and its allies have taken significant punitive actions against Russia, they have made little headway in hel… Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. One important factor that has influenced both events is international intervention by Russia, the This campaign was influenced by the democracy campaign in Serbia in 2000 (see “Serbians overthrow Milosevic (Bulldozer Revolution), 2000”) and the Rose Revolution in Georgia (see “Georgians overthrow a dictator (Rose Revolution), 2003”). President Yanukovych gained greater executive authority later in 2010 when the Constitutional Court overturned the 2006 reform that had enhanced the powers of the prime minister. Yushchenko, in a largely symbolic act, entered parliament and took the presidential oath. Third, the events in November 2004 forever changed relations between Ukraine and Russia. More and more Ukrainians joined the protests every day. Ukraine's 2004 presidential election was the most important event in Ukraine since independence was achieved in 1991. During the 2004 Orange Revolution, Russia was also accused of interfering with Ukrainian events in favor of Yanukovych, while the Kremlin said Western money … The regime attempted to suppress the Orange Revolution using security forces. That event saw Ukraine cleaved off from the Russian sphere of influence, triggering a chain of events that rekindled the Russian-Western Cold War. In what was widely seen as an attempt to thaw relations with the EU, Yanukovych pardoned the imprisoned Lutsenko and ordered his release in April 2013. Deliberate inefficiency and selective noncooperation by enforcement agents, 122. Parliamentary elections, at first scheduled for December, later were canceled, and Yushchenko’s and Tymoshenko’s parties agreed to form a new coalition, together with the smaller Lytvyn Bloc, headed by Volodymyr Lytvyn. Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution might look different from the 2014 ongoing riots in Kiev, but many of the players are the same. Demonstrators from outside Kiev also came to the capital to join in the protests. Demonstration in Kiew during mass protests against the election fraud in Ukraine, 2004-11-28 The "Orange Revolution" in Independence Square, Kiev, Ukraine, november, 2004 symbol of solidarity with democratic movement in Ukraine people on streets "Ukraine together" - Yushchenko 2004: The Orange Revolution in Ukraine. Pora set up a protest camp immediately, but other groups awaited the run-off vote. His first cabinet served only until September 2005, when he dismissed all his ministers, including Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, a fellow leader of the Orange Revolution. As the Yanukovych administration continued its pivot towards Moscow, EU leaders expressed concern about the preservation of the rule of law in Ukraine. Foreign governments and NGOs provided monetary support for the campaigners. The joining order of groups and elites is not known. On December 26, 2004, observers from around the world monitored the elections in order to prevent fraud. Motivated by many factors, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has triggered the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Cold War. The Maidan became a site for speeches and musical entertainment in conjunction with the political protest. The last stages of the election were contested between the opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko and the incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych from the Party of Regions. The election was held in a highly charged political atmosphere, with allegations of media bias, voter intimidationand a poisoning o… Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! Banners, posters, and displayed communications, 018. Winning 48.95 percent of the vote—a narrow lead over Tymoshenko’s 45.47 percent—Yanukovych took the presidency. 2004 Presidential Election - Orange Revolution. Tulip Revolution, Kyrgyzstan, 2005. The higher ranks of soldiers refused the orders, however, and the attack never took place. Despite the confrontational nature and huge size of demonstrations, the pro-Yushchenko campaigners were determinedly nonviolent, with organizers like Pora having been influenced by the writings of Gene Sharp. Literature and speeches advocating resistance, Opponent, Opponent Responses, and Violence, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. Protestors also occupied the Maidan and set-up tents to continue the spirit of protest day and night. And each morning and night, a multi-denominational religious service was held in the square. The “Orange Revolution” by Ukrainians was successful. Vladimir Putin. The presidential election of 2004 brought Ukraine to the brink of disintegration and civil war. These demonstrators congregated in the Maidan, Kiev’s main square. On January 22 two protesters were killed in skirmishes with police, and demonstrations soon spread to eastern Ukraine, a region that traditionally had supported Yanukovych and closer ties with Russia. The runoff results were split largely along regional lines, with most of western Ukraine supporting Tymoshenko and most of the east favouring Yanukovych. It was both a symbol and a symptom of the revolution that rippled across Ukraine last week. In September Yushchenko’s health began to fail, and medical tests later revealed he had suffered dioxin poisoning (allegedly carried out by the Ukrainian State Security Service), which left his face disfigured. These changes are sometimes erroneously referred to as the "2004 Constitution". On December 3, the Supreme Court followed suit, announcing that the election was fraudulent and Yanukovych’s “victory” could not be recognized. Foreign government leaders supported negotiations and provide monetary support for the campaigners. Displays of flags and symbolic colors, 150. Although international observers called attention to irregularities in some contests, the European Parliament characterized the election as comparatively fair, and the main opposition parties accepted the official results. The campaigners were also influenced by the previous nonviolent Colour Revolutions in Serbia (see “Serbians overthrow Milosevic (Bulldozer Revolution), 2000”) and Georgia (see “Georgians overthrow a dictator (Rose Revolution), 2003”). The Ukrainian government further improved relations with Russia in June 2010, when it officially abandoned its goal of joining NATO—a pursuit Russia had opposed. Challenging the validity of the results, Tymoshenko embarked on a hunger strike. In exchange, Ukraine would receive a reduction in the price of Russian natural gas. Ukraine's 1994 Elections as an Economic Event, by Robert S. Kravchuk and Victor Chudowsky Regime Type and Politics in Ukraine under Kuchma, by Taras Kuzio Rapacious Individualism and Political Competition in Ukraine, 1992-2004, by Lucan A. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. pp634-9. Vladimir Putin. In 2010, then- President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych reverted these changes on the basis of a … The election was the fourth presidential election to take place in Ukraine following independence from the Soviet Union. A lion's share of Internet access was generated by residents of Kiev and other major cities--where the civic protest became the most widespread and opposition the most determined. Dual sovereignty and parallel government, 147. The autonomous hetman state and Sloboda Ukraine, Right Bank and western Ukraine until the Partitions of Poland, Ukraine under direct imperial Russian rule, Western Ukraine under the Habsburg monarchy, World War I and the struggle for independence, The New Economic Policy and Ukrainization, Western Ukraine under Soviet and Nazi rule, The Orange Revolution and the Yushchenko presidency, Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea. The government of President Kuchma, who supported the election of Viktor Yanukovych and initiated the election fraud that the campaigners were protesting. Leaders and Partners participated from the very beginning. Noncooperation by constituent governmental units, 198. When all votes had been counted—this time without manipulation—Yushchenko won, 52% to Yanukovych’s 44%. The following week Tymoshenko’s government was felled by a vote of no confidence and Mykola Azarov of the Party of Regions was installed as prime minister. Kiev, and other cities in the Central and Western regions of the country. In addition to the somewhat distant historical events, more contemporary events, such as Arab Spring, are also likely to have had influenced the course of political events in Ukraine by invoking the yearning for democracy among the citizens. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. These events have changed Ukraine's history. The end of November is when the Orange Revolution started in 2004 and the Revolution of Dignity in 2013. After negotiations that lasted until December 8, Yanukovych and Kuchma agreed to a new run-off vote, when Yuschenko and the parliament agreed to measures that would limit the future president’s power. The results of the second round were protested by the opposition in connection with massive falsifications. This time, however, a coalition with the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc held together, allowing the pro-Western Orange parties to form a government with Tymoshenko as prime minister. In the parliamentary election in October 2012, the ruling Party of Regions emerged as the single largest bloc, with 185 seats. The Yushchenko supporters continued their mass demonstrations in Kiev, with numbers nearing one million people. The “Orange Revolution” by Ukrainians was successful. NOW 50% OFF! In April 2010, following a fractious parliamentary debate, Ukraine agreed to extend Russia’s lease of the port at Sevastopol, originally set to expire in 2017, until 2042. The Global Nonviolent Action Database is a project of Swarthmore College, including the Peace and Conflict Studies Program, the Peace Collection, and the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility. In 2011 former prime minister Tymoshenko, the country’s most popular politician, was convicted of abuse of power in connection with a 2009 natural gas deal with Russia and given a seven-year prison sentence. Miners that favored Yanukovych made their way to Kiev, but they were largely outnumbered by the pro-Yushchenko demonstrators. Yushchenko subsequently defeated Yanukovych by garnering some 52 percent of the vote. Protesters occupied the justice ministry in Kyiv, and the parliament hastily … Protestors clad in orange, Yushchenko’s campaign colour, took to the streets, and the country endured nearly two weeks of demonstrations. A year has passed since the start of Ukraine's "Revolution of Honour". Ukraine has long played an important, yet sometimes overlooked, role in the global security order. Exit polls, on the other hand, showed Yushchenko winning by 11%. Representatives of the executive authorities, local authorities and clergy, participants in the revolutions in Ukraine in 2004, 2013-2014, families of the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred, participants in the Anti-Terrorist Operation and the Joint Forces Operation in Donetsk … The top two candidates, Yanukovych and Tymoshenko, garnered about 35 and 25 percent, respectively. Rose Revolution, Georgia, 2003. Nevertheless, on December 3 the Supreme Court ruled the election invalid and ordered a new runoff for December 26. Presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko and Politician Yulia Tymoshenko. The demonstrators gave flowers to the soldiers that surrounded the Maidan and played music for them. Cleared to seek a third term as president by the Constitutional Court, Kuchma instead endorsed the candidacy of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was also strongly supported by Russian Pres. The 2004 elections and Orange Revolution A lot happened in Ukraine in the decade that followed. These demonstrators formed a sea of orange, the color of Yushchenko’s campaign, by wearing orange ribbons and carrying orange flags. The student protests organised to force President Viktor Yanukovych … One of the most tragic events for Ukrainians was the struggle for justice, which began seven years ago with protest rallies on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, in the center of Kyiv. But U.S. policymakers were on high alert in November … Political turmoil occupied the first few years of Yushchenko’s presidency. This run-off vote took place on November 21, 2004, and official results from Kuchma’s government showed that Yanukovych had won by 3%. Cleared to seek a third term as president by the Constitutional Court, Kuchma instead endorsed the candidacy of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was also strongly supported by Russian Pres. Orange Revolution, Ukraine, 2004. Following this decision, parliament set up a new run-off election for December 26. Declarations of indictment and intention, 008. As the campaign grew, Yushchenko set up the Committee of National Salvation and called for a national strike until the true results of the election were honored. Ukraine: A History, 4th ed. However, the October 31 election yielded no winner, with each candidate receiving about 40% of the votes. The October 31, 2004, presidential elections in Ukraine pitted popular opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko against Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. Prime Minister Yanukovych’s supporters also held demonstrations, especially in the south and east. Yushchenko—running on an anticorruption, anticronyism platform—emerged as the leading opposition candidate, but his campaign was prevented from visiting Yanukovych’s stronghold of Donetsk and other eastern cities. The first and the second rounds of presidential elections in Ukraine were held on October 31 and November 21, 2004. Yushchenko’s supporters took to the streets in large-scale protest beginning on November 22, determined to defend their right to free elections and to instate the rightful winner. When a proposed coalition of the so-called Orange parties in the parliament fell apart, Yushchenko was forced to accept his rival Yanukovych as prime minister. When all votes had been counted—this time without manipulation—Yushchenko won, 52% to Yanukovych’s 44%. The ensuing power struggle between the president and the prime minister, whose political role had been enhanced by a constitutional reform that took effect in 2006, led Yushchenko to call for another round of parliamentary elections in 2007. Yanukovych’s supporters in the east threatened to secede from Ukraine if the results were annulled. None known. Yanukovich's sudden tack towards Russia has provoked the biggest street protests since the 2004-5 Orange Revolution, when people power forced a re-run of a fraud-tainted election and thwarted his first run for the presidency. The Global Nonviolent Action Database is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license unless otherwise noted. Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party claimed 101 seats, Vitali Klitschko’s Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR) won 40 seats, and the ultranationalist Svoboda (“Freedom”) party had a surprisingly strong showing, winning 37 seats. Ukrainians overthrow dictatorship (Orange Revolution), 2004, Included Participation by More Than One Social Class, 005. The next presidential election, held on January 17, 2010, confirmed the political demise of President Yushchenko, who received only about 5 percent of the vote. President Kuchma had ordered 10,000 troops, stationed outside Kiev, to attack the demonstrators, but the Ukrainian intelligence services defied Kuchma's orders and prevented the attack. Way The Ukrainian Orange Revolution Brought More than a New President: What Kind of Democracy Will the Because neither had won a majority of votes, a runoff poll was held on February 7. Today, the country appears to be on the front lines of a renewed great-power rivalry that many analysts say will dominate international relations in the decades ahead. In 2004-2005 mass protests lasting for two months - the Orange Revolution - helped bring to power pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, who … On December 1, the parliament joined the side of the campaigners, passing a vote of no-confidence in Prime Minister Yanukovych ‘s government. This perception was supported by evidence of ballot manipulation. Subtelny, Orest. In February 2012 Tymoshenko’s interior minister, Yuri Lutsenko, also was convicted of abuse of power and sentenced to four years in prison. In this rendition of Ukrainian history, the 2004 Orange revolution was the first attempt of the Ukrainian people to assert their sovereignty and pro-western leanings. Your victory depends upon how many people are ready to say ‘No’ to this government, ‘No’ to a total falsification of the elections.” Although Yanukovych challenged the validity of the results, Yushchenko was inaugurated on January 23, 2005. 2004 - Orange Revolution mass protests force pro-European change of government. By November 2004, Ukraine, with a population of 48 million people, boasted some 6 million distinct users accessing the Internet. In the runoff the following month, Yanukovych was declared the winner, though Yushchenko’s supporters charged fraud and staged mass protests that came to be known as the Orange Revolution. In order to support the presence in Kiev of demonstrators from around the country, the campaigners took over public buildings, offered private homes, and set up open kitchens. Parliamentary elections early that year saw Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party finish third, behind Yanukovych’s Party of Regions and the Yuliya Tymoshenko Bloc. The last time they did this, in November 2004, the result was the prolonged international incident that became known as the Orange Revolution. At this point most opposition groups, such as the student group Pora, already suspected fraud. Although international observers determined that the poll had been fair, Tymoshenko declared the results fraudulent and refused to recognize Yanukovych’s victory; she and her supporters boycotted the inauguration of Yanukovych on February 25. The campaign began in response to the fraudulent presidential elections and the campaigners demanded new, fair, and fraud-free elections. The campaigners were successful in gaining an open and fair run-off vote in which Yushchenko was determined as the next president of Ukraine. On November 28, a high up government official (either the Interior Minister or the Chief of Staff) ordered troops to move in on the demonstrators. Ukraine - Ukraine - The Orange Revolution and the Yushchenko presidency: The presidential election of 2004 brought Ukraine to the brink of disintegration and civil war. With new fair elections the campaigners expected presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko to win. 2014 February - Maidan Revolution ousts pro-Kremlin government over … The next day 500,000 people in Kiev marched to the parliament building. Since its independence in 1991, Ukraine has gone through two major upheavals in its transition to democracy, the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Euromaidan in 2014. In October the president dissolved parliament. The 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine was a massive demonstration of people for democracy and against electoral fraud. The first color revolution took place in Georgia in … The next prime minister, Yury Yekhanurov, stayed in office only until January 2006. In the 2004 Ukrainian elections the opposition maintained a strategy of non-violence over the longest protest period of 17 days but was prepared to use force if it had been attacked. As the government continued to balance the often conflicting goals of maintaining positive relations with Russia and gaining membership in the EU, dissent between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko contributed to the collapse of their coalition in September 2008. When Ukraine cohosted the UEFA European Championship football (soccer) tournament in summer 2012, a number of EU countries registered their concern for Tymoshenko by boycotting the event. A chronology of key events in the history of Ukraine, from 1917 to the present ... Orange Revolution. 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