Monday, Feb. 08, 2010

Viktor Yanukovych

Viktor Yanukovych is the new President of Ukraine — again. The embattled politician was declared the victor of Ukraine's 2004 elections, but amid huge pro-democracy protests known as the orange revolution, a court ruled the vote fraudulent and the results were thrown out. A do-over election awarded the presidency to his rival, Viktor Yushchenko.

This time, Yanukovych, once seen as a cipher for Ukraine's former Soviet rulers in Moscow, hired U.S. political consultants and ran as a centrist whose policies aligned his country with Russia instead of the West. His tactic worked. Although the final votes have yet to be tallied, Yanukovych has largely defeated Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and is slated to become Ukraine's next President.