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Ukraine Celebrates Anniversary Of Orange Revolution

Orange was sparse on Independence Square today (RFE/RL) KYIV, November 22, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine is celebrating Freedom Day, the second anniversary of the Orange Revolution that brought President Viktor Yushchenko to power.

President Viktor Yushchenko last year declared November 22, the start of the massive street protests against vote rigging in the 2004 presidential election, a national "Freedom Day."

The mass rallies in 2004 led to a court ruling overturning a rigged presidential election.

Colors Fade

But today, Viktor Yanukovych, Yushchenko's rival from the rigged 2004 election, is prime minister. The former Orange Revolution allies are divided and Yushchenko's own Our Ukraine party is in opposition.

Yanukovych today said the time had come to overcome divisions in society dating back to the Orange Revolution. "I would really want us, when turning to the 'Orange' or 'Blue and White' times of our history, to feel that we are approaching in our beliefs and sympathies the common political color, so to speak -- the color of our national flag."

No big rallies were planned today on Kyiv's Independence Square, but several small gatherings were held on the square that was the focal point of the Orange Revolution.

In some rallies, such as one in which a few hundred people assembled to listen to right political leaders, the color that symbolized the revolution was a rare sight.

Call For Unity

The leading figure of the Orange Revolution, President Yushchenko, was to deliver a national address later in the day.

In a television interview on November 21, he called for a new political force to unite the country's divided liberals.

(with Reuters, UNIAN, Interfax)

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, And Moldova Report

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