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Ukraine

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Index
  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
  12. Unrest Spreads to Other Eastern Cities
  13. Referendums on Autonomy Held in Other Eastern Regions
  14. Billionaire Businessman Wins Presidential Election
Several Rounds of Elections and Another Gas Crisis

Yushchenko, accusing Yanukovich of attempting to consolidate power, dissolved Parliament in April 2007. After extended negotiations and political posturing, the rivals agreed to hold parliamentary elections in the fall. The elections in September proved inconclusive, and after weeks of talks, the parties that rose to power during the Orange Revolution of 2004 formed a coalition.

On Oct. 9, 2008, after weeks of political turmoil that saw that collapse of his pro-Western coalition, President Viktor Yushchenko signed an order to dissolve Parliament and called for new elections.

A dispute over debts and pricing of gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine led Gazprom, the major Russian gas supplier, to halt its gas exports to Europe via Ukraine, affecting at least ten EU countries in January 2009. About 80% of Russian gas exports to Europe are pumped through Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the disruption to Europe's energy supply.

Viktor Yushchenko, who led Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004, resoundingly lost the first round of the Ukrainian presidential election. Former prime minister Viktor Yanukovich won the second round in February 2010, defeating Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko by 3.48%. International observers declared the election fair, but Tymoshenko alleged election fraud. She resigned in March, after losing a confidence vote in Parliament. Yanukovich formed a government in March, with Mykola Azarov, a Russian-born former finance minister, as his prime minister. He promised voters that he had moved beyond his thuggish and intimidating demeanor and vowed to allow an free media, government transparency, and an active opposition, and to reach out to the West. Once elected, however, Yanukovich resumed his intolerance for the opposition and opened investigations into opposition leaders. Tymoshenko was a prime target, and in June 2011 she was arrested for exceeding her authority when she signed a gas deal with Russia in 2009. The move had the unintended effect of angering Russia, which saw the arrest as an affront to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who signed the deal, and the European Union, which profited from the agreement. She was convicted in October 2011 and sentenced to seven years in prison. The verdict was widely criticized as being political and to punish her for her continued participation in politics.

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