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Yanukovich Seen as Front-Runner in Ukraine Presidential Election

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich faces current Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a presidential runoff February 7.  Mr. Yanukovich, who lost the last presidential elections in 2004, but is now seen as the front-runner. He is the leader of the powerful "Party of Regions" in the Ukrainian parliament. University of Toronto Ukrainian expert Frank Sysyn says the party is composed of various business interests in the south and east of Ukraine.

Yushchenko Apparently Loses Ukrainian Presidency

Exit polls announced within minutes after elections ended in Ukraine indicate the country's current and former prime ministers will emerge from a field of 18 candidates to face one another in a run-off in three weeks.  Incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko appears out of the running with a reported fifth-place finish. An exit poll conducted by Kyiv's Razumkov Center shows Viktor Yanukovych, who was accused of rigging the 2004 election, has garnered more than 31 percent of the vote.  Yulia Tymoshenko, the current head of government, has more than 27 percent, a bit higher than expected.  Incu

Russian Gas: Pipelines, Politics and Money

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has warned Ukraine he will cut off the country's gas supplies if it siphons fuel from export lines. Mr. Putin made the statement in Moscow following a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann. His warning carries an implicit threat that Europeans this winter could again face shortages of gas they receive from Russia via pipelines that go through Ukraine.   Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been discussing energy with European leaders much of this past year.