Orange revolution grinds to a halt as Yushchenko sacks entire government

His sudden decision came just eight months after he and his team came to office promising to stamp out the gross corruption which had bedevilled previous administrations.

Julia Tymoshenko, the country's photogenic and fiery Prime Minister, lost her job and was swiftly replaced with an interim, Russian-born premier, Yuri Yekhanurov, who has the job of forming a new government.

Entrenched differences between Ms Tymoshenko and another millionaire minister, Petr Poroshenko, the Secretary of the National Security Council, were said to have brought the revolution to a halt and led to internal intrigues that paralysed decision-making.

Mykola Tomenko, a deputy prime minister who resigned yesterday before the government's dismissals, said relations between the two had deteriorated to the point where there were in effect two governments, one run by Mr Poroshenko and the other by Ms Tymoshenko.

A close ally of Ms Tymoshenko said he would work to realise "the second phase of the orange revolution".

"I don't want to bear collective responsibility for people who have created a system of corruption," he said. "Today the President does not know what's going on in the country."

Speaking on state television, Mr Yushchenko, who has himself recently faced embarrassing questions about his son's high-rolling lifestyle, said he took the decision to disband the government as a last resort. "We are witnessing a paradox. Many new faces have come to power but the face of power has not changed," he said, referring to the previous regime of the Soviet-era apparatchik Leonid Kuchma which was widely regarded as being riddled with cronyism and corruption.

"We need to halt disappointment in society and make sure that the ideals [of the orange revolution] are not cast into doubt." Mr Yushchenko said he had ordered an investigation into allegations that several members of his outgoing government were corrupt. He added, enigmatically, that the accusations were "groundless but very strong" and deserved close scrutiny.

Mr Poroshenko was the most high-profile figure to be accused of wrongdoing. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mr Yushchenko's chief-of staff and the architect of the orange revolution, resigned from the government on 3 September, accusing Mr Poroshenko, a confectionery millionaire, of using his post to enrich himself, help wealthy businessmen and generally "usurp power". Mr Poroshenko denied the allegations and resigned before the government was sacked so as not, he said, to obstruct an inquiry.

Mr Yushchenko conceded thatordinary Ukrainians had come to see the revolution as little more than a means of transferring wealth from an old elite to a new one. He singled out the case of the Nikopol steel plant, which is being wrestled from Viktor Pinchuk, an oligarch tied to the old elite, so that it can be handed back to the state.

Its new directors have been accused of having links to a bank run by wealthy businessmen said to be close to Ms Tymoshenko. Though she strongly denies any such link, Mr Yushchenko said he was unhappy with the transfer. It was, he said, "falling into the hands of one band of thugs from another instead of being returned to the state".

Ms Tymoshenko is keeping her powder dry until today when she is expected to offer her own view of recent events. Her spokesman was busy last night denying reports that she had allegedly said she felt betrayed by Mr Yushchenko. Parliamentary elections are due in March.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick