“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

Reuters:

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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