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SLUG: 2-321741 Ukraine / Pol (L-only)
TITLE=UKRAINE / POL (L-ONLY)
HEADLINE: Yanukovych Supporters in Ukraine Start Street Protests
INTRO: Ukraine's former prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, continues
preparations to file yet another appeal with Ukraine's Supreme Court
contesting the final official results of the December 26th presidential
election, which gave his opponent, Viktor Yushchenko, the win.
Supporters of Mr. Yanukovych took to the streets of two cities Thursday
in the start of what they say will be a full-scale struggle to have
their candidate declared Ukraine's next president. VOA's Lisa McAdams
in Kiev reports:
TEXT: The heart of Kiev's central square echoed with a new sound on
Thursday -- the cheers of some 200 hundred pro-Yanukovych supporters.
/// NAT SOUND OF YANUKOVYCH SUPPORTERS EST. & FADE ///
Some 200 people dressed in Mr. Yanukovych's blue-and-white campaign
colors paraded right through the heart of Kiev's central square, a focal
point of the opposition's street protests that led to opposition leader
Viktor Yushchenko's victory.
The Yanukovych supporters, many of whom favor continued strong ties with
Russia, strode only a few meters away from the massive tent camp where
some of the most strident Ukrainian nationalists remain camped out.
Dozens of special security services from inside the Yushchenko tent camp
formed a protective ring around the Yanukovych supporters to ensure
their safety. As they did so, hundreds of people who just moments
before had been going about their business, began to hiss and jeer at
the pro-Yanukovych supporters.
Rival chants of Yushchenko versus Yanukovych rang out in the air.
Vladimir, a lawyer in Kiev and a Yanukovych supporter, says the struggle
against Mr. Yushchenko has only just begun.
He said he and others who back Mr. Yanukovych came out into the streets
to protest against what he says was mass falsification during the latest
re-run election in the west of Ukraine, a Yushchenko stronghold.
Vladimir says everyone should know that if Mr. Yushchenko is ultimately
sworn in, there will be tough opposition in the east.
/// VLADIMIR ACT IN RUSSIAN, EST. & FADE ///
Vladimir says that opposition will include a full economic blockade,
with the eastern regions refusing to hand over their hard-earned money
This elderly pensioner, Alla, says she is very angry Mr. Yanukovych and
his team are still trying to, in her words, steal the election. She
says they falsified the first and second round ballot and now, she says,
they want to falsify an appeal.
/// PENSIONER ACT IN RUSSIAN -- EST. & FADE ///
Alla says she is sure the last election was free and fair and that the
pro-Yanukovych people should just accept defeat gracefully.
A significantly larger rally took place Thursday in the eastern
industrial city of Donetsk, a traditional Yanukovych stronghold.
Ukrainian television broadcast pictures of several hundred
pro-Yanukovych supporters rallying in front of a make-shift blue and
white tent camp that is growing in size by the day.
/// REST OPT ///
Meanwhile, campaign manager Taras Chornovyl says submission of Mr.
Yanukovych's appeal to the Supreme Court has been delayed due to what he
called technical issues. He said the appeal could be submitted on
Friday, but many Yushchenko supporters believe the Yanukovych team will
drag things out until midnight Monday -- the deadline by which an appeal
must be filed.
If the Supreme Court accepts the appeal, justices would then have five
days to examine the claims and issue a final ruling. Then and only then
can parliament set a date for president-elect Yushchenko's inauguration.
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