Ukraine’s presidential challenger Viktor Yushchenko has appeared before his supporters and thanked them for their continued support. He said, however, that they still had some way to go to achieve victory.
News that outgoing President Kuchma favours holding new elections will please Yushchenko followers but it remains to be seen how pro-Yanukovich supporters will react. People from both camps continue to flood the streets in their thousands, often mixing together and trading well-worn slogans, but so far things have stayed relatively civil. Making sure that tension rises no further will be a chief concern for most of those involved in the crisis. Officials are warning that the dispute is threatening to badly damage the economy and already there has been a run on bank deposits. There are also fears that a break-up of the country is now a real threat. A pro-Yanukovich region in the largely Russian-speaking east has set a referendum for December 5 on the formation of a republic within a federal Ukrainian state.