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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 23:48 GMT
Ukraine marks Orange Revolution
Viktor Yushchenko speaks at a rally in Kiev
Viktor Yushchenko said the nation had done much to be proud of
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko has urged supporters not to give up on his government, a year after a wave of protests helped sweep him to power.

Mr Yushchenko was speaking at a rally in Kiev to mark the first anniversary of the so-called Orange Revolution.

The demonstrations of a year ago were in support of Mr Yushchenko, the loser in a rigged presidential poll.

Some are disappointed that problems persist, but analysts say many expectations in 2004 were unrealistic.

Addressing crowds of tens of thousands from a stage in Independence Square, President Yushchenko acknowledged that some might feel the government had failed to live up to their hopes.

But, he said, it was making progress in promoting democracy and economic reforms and fighting corruption.

"We are on the right path, a path of justice, a path of freedom... we achieved things which no-one before us had, and I am proud of this," he said.

His face still scarred from dioxin poisoning, Mr Yushchenko went on: "Each one of us paid for what we call freedom. I paid my price, each of you paid your price."

Sacked rival

Independence Square turned orange once again, as people gathered to mark the anniversary. Many wore scarves or waved flags in the bright colour of the "revolution".

The celebrations, which included a concert, aimed to recreate the euphoria of last November, despite a recent split in Mr Yushchenko's team.

Supporters cheer Viktor Yushchenko at a rally in Kiev
Some - but not all - the enthusiasm has worn off after 12 months
His former ally and now rival Yulia Tymoshenko, sacked as prime minister by Mr Yushchenko in September, was greeted loudly by the crowds.

She urged supporters to unite to beat the threat posed by Mr Yushchenko's rival for the presidency - the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych - in March's parliamentary elections.

"I am certain that just as we supported Viktor Yushchenko in the presidential election, we must now unite to elect a prime minister who will embody everything we fought for," she said.

"I want to dismiss all the rumours that it is Tymoshenko versus Yushchenko. This cannot be so because this is the president that you and I helped bring to power."

Ukrainian television said the anniversary was being marked in a different way in the eastern city of Donetsk.

The streets were decorated with the blue ribbons of Mr Yanukovych, who lost last year's repeat run-off. The city rejected the Orange Revolution.

Hear Viktor Yushchenko talk about the difficult first year after the Orange Revolution

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