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
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project