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Ukraine celebrates anniversary as election looms

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Ukraine celebrates anniversary as election looms

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Ukraine celebrates the 18th anniversary of its independence against a backdrop of political infighting and a fragile relationship with its former masters in Moscow.

The country’s President Viktor Yushchenko is becoming an ever-more isolated figure as the country gears up for a January election. Yuschenko’s support of Georgia in their recent war with Russia and his desire for NATO membership has angered the Kremlin, with Moscow accusing Kiev of pursuing anti-Russian policies. Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Tymoshenko, a fierce critic of Yuschenko, looks set to meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Warsaw next week in an attempt to mend fences and provide Tymoshenko with pre-election boost.