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
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

Science Teacher - Spring half term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Are you QTS qualified and availa...

Maths Teacher - from October half term

£120 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Long term Math Post - potentiall...

Year 5 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education is currently recruitin...

SECONDARY SUPPLY TEACHERS NEEDED IN AND AROUND DARTFORD

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Description Randstad Education i...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week