Thursday, Dec. 09, 2010

Viktor Yanukovych

Back in 2004, Viktor Yanukovych ran for president of Ukraine and was declared the winner, only to see the results thrown out when the vote was deemed fraudulent. (And this was after someone felled him with an egg). In the run-up to the election, his opponent, the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko, was poisoned with dioxin, leaving his face pockmarked and disfigured. The ensuing Orange Revolution, the name given to the protests that sparked the presidential runoff that led to a Yuschenko victory, seemed a big win for democracy. Yet Yushchenko's term was underwhelming, and earlier this year Yanukovych defeated Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to become president — for real. To the unease of many, he has since strengthened relations with Russia and increased his power.