“Weird” Viktor Yanukovich has won the Ukrainian presidency, exit polls indicate, shifting power in the former Soviet republic to a more pro-Kremlin position after five years of “Orange Revolution” political fervor. –JCL


Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich appeared set on Sunday to avenge his humiliation by Yulia Tymoshenko in the 2004 “Orange Revolution,” exit polls showing him beating her narrowly in a presidential run-off.

Tagged a Kremlin stooge in 2004 after he was congratulated prematurely by Russia in a rigged election, Yanukovich had his initial victory in that poll snatched away by a court ruling after mass streets protests.

The pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko, who was then backed by the charismatic Tymoshenko, went on to win a re-run vote.

The 59-year-old ex-mechanic owes his comeback to financial support from wealthy industrialists in his home region in eastern Ukraine for whom he has become, by circumstance, the only horse to back.

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