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Ukraine's leaders bicker as economy burns

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Surveys show that nearly 85 percent of Ukrainians believe there is no government order in the country.

"It's a good thing when they compete in elections, but when they continue competing afterwards, it's disastrous," explains Vira Nanivska, president of the National Academy of Public Administration in Kiev. "It becomes impossible for needed decisions to be taken."

A revolution's bitter aftertaste

In 2004's Orange Revolution, Tymoshenko and Yushchenko worked together to defeat pro-Moscow leader Viktor Yanukovych. During weeks of protests in Kiev's freezing main square it was usually Tymoshenko, a passionate orator, who would warm up the crowds before turning the stage over to the more measured and cerebral Yushchenko.

Following Yushchenko's election as president, the two quickly had a falling out. Within a year, Yushchenko dismissed her from the prime minister's job. Tymoshenko has since clawed her way back to power in parliamentary elections and now leads a fragile majority parliamentary coalition.

"There was a binary charisma between them that won the Orange Revolution, but which has now acquired an equally compelling explosive force," says Dmytro Vydrin, a member of Yushchenko's National Constitutional Council.

Political rumbles remain from gas dispute

Last month, Tymoshenko traveled to Moscow to sign a deal with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ending a two week pipeline dispute that had cut energy supplies to 18 European countries. But she was forced to agree to a near doubling of the price for gas. Yushchenko subsequently denounced the accord as a betrayal of Ukraine's national interests, and vowed to overturn it – a threat he later retracted under pressure from nervous Europeans.

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