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Yushchenko To Receive Philadelphia Liberty Medal

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko (file photo) 28 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko will receive the 2005 Philadelphia Liberty Medal.

The medal honors an individual or organization that has "demonstrated leadership and vision in the pursuit of liberty of conscience or freedom from oppression, ignorance, or deprivation."

The program is administered by the nonprofit Philadelphia Foundation and comes with a $100,000 prize. The selection of the Ukrainian leader was announced by the foundation on 28 June.

Yushchenko was elected in December after surviving a contentious election and dioxin poisoning that left his face disfigured. He blames the poisoning on the regime of his predecessor, Leonid Kuchma, who supported Yushchenko's opponent in the election.

Yushchenko has pledged to fight corruption and bring the country closer to the European Union and NATO while maintaining good relations with Russia.


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