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Yushchenko Meeting To Seek Way Out Of Ukrainian Crisis


Scuffles broke out in the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliment, when the Socialist Party announced on July 11 that it was leaving the 'Orange' coalition to join pro-Russian forces (epa) July 12, 2006 -- Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko is meeting political leaders today to seek a way out of a political crisis that has paralyzed parliament and is bringing from all parties out onto the streets.


The legislature's session erupted into chaos on July 11, after Speaker Oleksandr Moroz announced the formation of a new pro-Russian parliamentary coalition.


The coalition groups the Party of the Regions headed by Viktor Yanukovych, Moroz's own Socialist Party, and the Communists.


The Socialists' former Orange Revolution allies, Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party and the party of a former prime minister, Yuliya Tymoshenko, say the coalition is "illegitimate."


The formation of the new coalition became possible after Moroz abandoned his former allies to be elected speaker. The coalition has already formally proposed Yanukovych as the next prime minister.


Today, hundreds of Yanukovych's supporters gathered outside parliament to demonstrate their support.


Supporters of Tymoshenko were also there to demand that the president dismiss parliament.


On Kyiv's main Independence Square, activists of the Pora party began setting up a tent camp.


Vladyslav Kaskiv, a Pora leader, called on supporters to join in a protest against the new coalition, saying that "today is perhaps the key and the most crucial moment in the entire history of an independent Ukraine, because the country cannot live when its government and its majority [coalition in parliament] are made up of communists, traitors and separatists."


Pora helped organize the Orange revolution mass street protests that helped install Yushchenko in office.


(Interfax-Ukraine, UNIAN, AP)

The Key Players

BEHIND THE IMAGES: Click on the links below to read RFE/RL's profiles of some of the key players in Ukraine's March 26 legislative elections:


Click on the image for background and archived articles about Ukraine's March 26 elections.


Click on the image to see RFE/RL's coverage of the Ukrainian elections in Ukrainian.

Click on the image to view a photo gallery of some of the key players in the Ukrainian elections.

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