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
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Bruce, left, with Cream bandmates Ginger Rogers, centre, and Eric Clapton in 1967
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
News
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
arts + entsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
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

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker