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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 14:05 GMT
Press agonises over Ukraine
Ukrainians protesting
Protests have been peaceful so far

Papers in Ukraine warn against a descent into violence in the political drama on the streets of Kiev - a theme echoed in the press of Ukraine's neighbours.

One Russian daily says it is clear that opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko has won and sees few options remaining for supporters of Viktor Yanukovych.

Whatever the outcome, violence will bring no benefit to either side in the conflict. It will put the country on the verge of a split and will conclusively spoil Ukraine's relations with the outside world.

Ukraine's pro-government Segodnya

Despite the growing number of statements made in the last few days about 'being ready for the worst', the people of Ukraine, thank goodness, have sufficient endurance and self-control not to allow something irreparable to happen.

Ukraine's pro-government Fakty i Kommentarii

What is happening on the squares of Ukraine is not a mutiny or a revolution. It is the natural reaction of citizens to violence which has deteriorated into bedlam. They have tried to steal the most precious thing of each and every one of us - our right to vote. Our voice.

Ukraine's pro-opposition Vecherniye Vesti

What is happening? A massive political crisis has burst out in Ukraine. We have seen nothing of the kind in 13 years of independence. And that is why nobody knows the way out of it. Let's hope that the two conflicting sides have the courage to at least get round the negotiating table and discuss how things stand.

Ukraine's pro-government Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraine

In reality the victory of the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko at the elections is becoming increasingly obvious... If, however, the Ukrainian authorities resort to using force, this would only increase the price of their defeat, but is unlikely to prevent the victory of the opposition being acknowledged at the end of the day.

Russia's Kommersant

The next one to two days will be decisive for the situation. After that, activities will die down. President Kuchma and Speaker Lytvyn will offer talks to Yanukovych and Yushchenko and will start making peace between them... Officials will start dividing up posts in a coalition government. Yushchenko's entourage will fight for the posts of ministers and governors.

Russia's Izvestiya

Ukraine faces the threat of a civil war between its two regions. A disintegration of the country is more likely than ever before... Power-wielding structures support Yanukovych, but in the regions the police will not risk firing at rallies and the army is unlikely to be deployed.

Aleksey Malashenko of the Carnegie Moscow Centre, in Russia's Gazeta

The Ukrainian opposition must not allow itself to be pushed from the path it chose on the first post-election night - that of building a broad movement of social resistance without the use of force... The sympathy [of the democratic world] will be lost if the revolution turns into violent street clashes or takes on the form of a political coup.

Poland's Rzeczpospolita

An orange revolution is taking place in Ukraine... The outcome of the presidential elections is against common sense and resembles more North Korea than a democratic Europe.

Czech Republic's Lidove noviny

Anything can happen in Ukraine... The interests of Russia and the US are just as important as those of Yanukovych's and Yushchenko's supporters.

Slovakia's Pravda

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The press in Ukraine
18 May 04 |  Europe
The press in Russia
21 Sep 04 |  Europe
The press in Poland
29 Apr 04 |  Europe
The press in the Czech Republic
24 Aug 04 |  Europe

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