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Archive for Monday, February 8, 2010

Pro-Russian candidate declares victory

February 8, 2010

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— Pro-Russian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych declared victory in Ukraine’s presidential runoff but his opponent rejected the claim, saying the vote was too close to call.

Exit polls showed Yanukovych — the main foe of protesters in Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution — with a narrow lead in Sunday’s vote over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a key figure in those pro-democracy protests.

Ukraine’s Central Election Commission reported today that Yanukovych was ahead 49.2 percent to 45.2 percent with 61.7 percent of the vote counted.

If the result stands, a Yanukovych victory could restore much of Moscow’s influence in a country that has labored to build bridges to the West.

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