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Ukrainians protest election result

Opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has rejected the results of the Ukrainian Presidential election and called thousands of his supporters onto the streets of Kiev to protest.

I’ve only just managed to grab ten minutes to write this so, if you want in-depth blog coverage of the protests, check out A Fistful of Euros, The Argus or Instapundit.  I’ll restrain myself to two thoughts:

  • Putin seems to have made a major error of judgement in backing Mr Yanukovych.  If the election result is overturned, he will have made an enemy of Yushchenko.
  • And if Yushchenko does win the Presidency he won’t have such a strong mandate from the people as Saakashvilli did in Georgia’s Rose Revolution (which, by the way, is celebrating its 1st anniversary today).  Even if the election had been free and fair, I doubt Yushchenko would have won by more than a few points.  There are deep East-West divisions in Ukraine which have bubbled to the surface this week.  They won’t just go away.


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