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The Orange Chronicles on JMAN.tv - The Best Documentaries... Instantly On Demand

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The Orange Revolution was not a revolution in dictionary terms. It was a revolution of will and resolve that changed a nation forever. As Russia-backed candidate Yanukovych emerged as winner of the presidential elections of December 2004, reports of corruption, falsifications and intimidations triggered a popular outcry. Millions took part in a protest that lasted over a month. In spite of the cold and risks involved, the Ukrainians stuck to their guns. This film tells the story of a people’s peaceful fight for true independence.

‘No one here is getting paid, we all came here for motivations from the heart. We must stand for 20 minutes, two hours or more… no matter how long!’ Demonstrators have gathered outside the Parliament. Suddenly, a tent city springs up on the streets of Kiev. ‘Finally people are awake. Ukraine has risen from her knees!’ The snow and freezing temperatures are not enough to deter a fast growing number of people of all ages. Hundreds of thousands rally to support candidate Yuschenko. Eating, sleeping, staying warm are challenges but these supporters are resilient and determined. They are making a stand.

‘Yuschenko, yuschenko!!’ Out on Kiev’s Square of Independence the crowd chants the name of the candidate who stands for a new Ukraine - free from corruption and foreign influence. The thirst for change is overwhelming. ‘I know that today a great evil is forming in my country to extend the power of the criminals in government.’ A roar of approval greets Yuschenko’s speech. ‘Every day we must have more people, people who are ready from morning until night to defend Ukraine’. People wave Ukrainian flags and orange banners, Yuschenko’s campaign colour.

Yanukovych supporters see it differently and a divide in the nation becomes obvious: ‘We were able to overcome the occupation of Hitler. We were able to overcome the occupation of the Stalin regime. And we are able to overcome the will of these parasites to destroy the Ukrainian state.’ His supporters are mainly found in Russian speaking communities in the East and South of the country.

Travelling around Ukraine with Orange campaigners, the crew documents surprising animosity and even violence. ‘Careful, they throw nails everywhere!’ Eggs and other projectiles are thrown at the cars. On the outskirts of Donetsk, Yanukovych’s home turf, the caravan is blocked entry by an angry mob. ‘Nobody is interfering with our election. Who are you to try and control us?’

The level of disinformation in those regions is shocking. One man spits out his hate of democracy and the US in particular: ‘They start fucking wars everywhere! Them and their fucking democracy!’ This violence is caused by a deep-rooted fear to cut off historic ties with Russia. ‘We live better than western Ukraine. Here, we’ve had more development. We want to keep the stability.’

Thankfully, dialogue prevailed and real violence was miraculously avoided. A new election took place and on January 20th, 2005, Viktor Yuschenko was confirmed the winner. The people in tent city were ecstatic. Change had won.

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