Ukrainians vote in presidential polls
Rival candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych faced off Sunday in a repeat election triggered by a fraudulent runoff vote and massive protests that resulted in an unprecedented third round in Ukraine's heated presidential contest.
Opposition candidate Yushchenko, a former Central Bank chief and prime minister, wants to bring Ukraine closer to the West, while the Kremlin-backed Yanukovych, the current prime minister, stresses tightening the Slavic country's relations with Russia as a means to maintain stability.
Yushchenko, whose face remains badly scarred from a dioxin poisoning he blamed on Ukrainian authorities, has emerged as the front-runner, building on the momentum of the round-the-clock protests that echoed the spirit of the anti-Communist revolutions that swept other East European countries in 1989-90.
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