The country’s dismissed Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko embraced the man who sacked her in September, President Victor Yushenko, in front of one hundred thousand people in Kiev’s Independence Square.
They were there to mark the first anniversary of the Orange Revolution – when fears over election fraud saw thousands taking to the streets to demonstrate. Both gave impassioned speeches calling for unity. After the political romance between Yushenko and the Ukrainian people, it seems the relationship has soured in recent months. The political turmoil last September dented the popularity of both leaders and generated widespread disillusion among Ukrainians. Opinion polls are led by the Regions Party, headed by Victor Yanukovich, the rival Yuschenko defeated in last year’s election campaign. Parties linked to Timoshenko and Yushenko lie in second and third place. But there have been some successes – the development of freedom of expression and transparency in government have been welcomed both at home and abroad.