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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 14:02 GMT
Press elation and alarm at Ukraine events
Fireworks in central Kiev
The opposition hailed parliament's vote to sack the government

Pro-opposition papers in Ukraine have no doubts that "victory" is in sight following Wednesday's developments in the crisis, but pro-government papers beg to differ.

In neighbouring Russia, the sound of alarm bells ringing can be heard ever more clearly in the commentaries carried by many papers.

Yesterday, Yanukovych was sacked, and Ukraine saw the orange light at the end of the tunnel of the political crisis... This paves the way for a full and complete victory by the democratic coalition in the presidential election. Ukraine shall have a government of people's trust, that is for sure. We may have to go through "the third round" of the election, but there is no doubt as to who will be president.

Ukrainian pro-opposition daily Ukrayina Moloda

Parliament has voted no-confidence in the cabinet, but this does not affect anything at this stage. Everything depends on which agreements the opposition and the authorities reach... It may look as if parliament has sacked the government, but Yanukovych will not leave his post unless the president decides so.

Ukrainian pro-government daily Segodnya

Our orange movement is not so much a political campaign as our Woodstock and our May 1968, our Dadaism and our revolutionary velvet. In short, it is our common childhood, which was missing from our too-grown-up history. This is why everybody is looking so young in Kiev, even the old people.

Ukrainian independent daily Den

Russia cannot afford to allow defeat in the battle for Ukraine. Besides everything else, defeat would mean velvet revolutions in the next two years, now following the Kiev variant, in Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and possibly Armenia.

Russia's Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The only result that the USA and her allies will be satisfied with is a victory for Yushchenko. Having failed to seize power in Ukraine at the first blow, the West and its client states have moved to a siege approach. Once more the butcher of Yugoslavia, the former secretary-general of Nato and now EU representative, Javier Solana, is wringing Kuchma's hands with his saccharine smile... Meanwhile Russian representatives like Mr Gryzlov look as irrelevant as if it were Fiji in question, rather than the fate of a fraternal people.

Russia's Sovetskaya Rossiya

Now these same [Western] forces are striving to yoke Ukraine and Belarus, in order then to gain complete control of Moscow. Complete control! They are no longer pretending to hide it...

Specialists in strategic analysis reckon that the personal qualities of the Ukrainian opposition figures are of no great importance. They have done their job: they have roused the people, brought the economy to the brink of collapse, and the state to the verge of dividing in two. Now more serious people can take over. According to sources, Nato troops in Hungary and Poland are preparing to move, and Romanian and Slovakian military units have been put on alert. Ukrainian towns are in their sights.

Russia's Pravda

The situation in Ukraine has reached the decisive moment. The last island of democracy, the parliament, interfered with from all sides, has taken three mutually exclusive decisions in three days... What is behind this is probably not the schizophrenia of all branches of the Ukrainian government, but more pressure from the crowd, which has already turned from a means of fighting for justice and democracy into a weapon of pressure and blackmail.

Russia's Moskovskiy Komsomolets

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.

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