In December 2004, the world watched as hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians gathered to defy the results of a transparently rigged presidential election. The charismatic popular candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, was disfigured after being poisoned by his opponents. The security forces threatened violent repression. But the demonstrators stayed and, as international pressure grew, the corrupt old regime that had been supported by Putin's Kremlin was deposed. It was the most significant moment for Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
An Orange Revolution is the gripping account of this historic uprising and the events that led to it. Often in thrall to the Kremlin but aspiring to the liberties of western Europe, Ukraine was treated roughly by the twentieth century, occupied by the Germans and annexed by the Soviets. It saw guerrilla fighting after the Second World War and dissent was crushed by successive Communist administrations. Its history has been one of corruption, power struggles, organised crime, but a resiliently optimistic population.
Based on firsthand observation and interviews with major players and anonymous demonstrators alike, this is about a people who have forced a lasting change: judges who defied death threats, a murdered journalist, amateur musicians who composed an anthem for the people, and soldiers who staked their lives to back the opposition. An Orange Revolution also traces the story of the author's family, who paid a high price for speaking out.
An Orange Revolution is a captivating book about a defining moment in European history.