5 Years After the Orange Revolution

Ukrainian's Presidential Election 2010

Two decades into its existence, Ukrainian still struggled for survival and nationhood. "Razom nas bahato! Nas ne podolaty!" The rhythmic chant spread through the crowd of the hundreds of thousands that filled Kiev's Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) on the evening of November 22, 2004. "Together, we are many! We cannot be defeated!" was emerging from the sea of orange. Through harsh cold and sleet millions of Ukrainians staged nationwide nonviolent protests that came to be known as the "Orange Revolution." The entire world watched riveted by this outpouring of the people's will in a country against its corrupt rulers. Corruption that was known to be the most saturated among the Newly Independent States in Ukraine.

Five years later, only the cold weather resembles the Orange Revolution. The Democratic Coalition fell apart and paved the way for the Revolution's villain Viktor Yanukovich to run in the 2010 Presidential Election.

I enjoyed the 2010 New Year with thousands of Ukrainians on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), sipping Ukrainian beer and freezing my feet and hands. People were cheerful and I think for that one night they weren't worried who would be their next president. "Anyway, everybody knows there will be second round of elections - why worry about the first round?"

The first round of the 2010 Presidential Election took place on January 17, 2010. There were 18 Presidential Candidates, 13 of them minors. Rumors said they are on the payrolls of the front-runners and that their candidacies exist to steal votes from top rivals of a leading candidate.

At the end of the first round of elections only two candidates remained: Viktor Yanukovich and Yulia Tymoshenko. They were pasted on billboards across Ukraine as they scrapped for the Presidency in a second round of elections. In the end, there was only one mug shot lining the capital's streets - that of the new President - Viktor Yanukovich. He promised during the 2010 Presidential Election campaign to steer the country towards Europe; to fight corruption and grant a five-year tax holiday for small businesses. Hopefully, he will fulfill his promises, but many Ukrainians are very skeptical.

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