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Flag of Ukraine
  1. Ukraine Main Page
  2. An Independent Nation
  3. A Struggling Economy and a Troubled Government
  4. Gas Causes an Energy Crisis
  5. Several Rounds of Elections and Another Gas Crisis
  6. Ally of Former Prime Minister Jailed
  7. 2012 Language Bill and New Election
  8. Massive Protests Call for Yanukovich's Resignation
  9. Yanukovich Flees Capital
  10. Russian Troops Sent to Crimea
  11. Putin Announces Annexation of Crimea
Gas Causes an Energy Crisis

Russia suddenly quadrupled the price of gas sold to Ukraine in Jan. 2006, triggering an energy crisis in the country. Ukraine maintained that Russia, angry at Ukraine's growing pro-Western stance and its loss of influence in the region, was attempting to damage its economy. Russia maintained that the rise in prices was purely a commercial consideration. Russia briefly stemmed the flow of gas to Ukraine to force the country to accept the higher prices, sending alarms throughout Europe—a quarter of Europe's gas supplies come from Russia via Ukraine's pipelines. A compromise was eventually reached, with Ukraine agreeing to pay about double its current price. Furious at the unfavorable terms of the deal, Ukraine's parliament then sacked the government of prime minister Yuri Yekhanurov. The prime minister, however, maintained the vote was nonbinding.

In parliamentary elections on March 26, 2006, Yushchenko's party fared badly, receiving only 14% of the vote. His two major opponents did considerably better: Viktor Yanukovich, the former prime minister whom Yushchenko had defeated in 2004, received the largest percentage, 32%, and Yulia Timoshenko, the former prime minister whom Yushchenko had sacked earlier in 2005, won 32% of the vote. It took until August before a strange ruling coalition was cobbled together: Yushchenko appointed his arch-rival Viktor Yanukovich as prime minister—the very leader the Orange Revolution had defeated in 2004. Yanukovich has vowed to strengthen Ukraine's ties with Russia once again.

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