Orange Revolution

The Orange Revolution (Ukrainian: Помаранчева революція, romanized: Pomarancheva revoliutsiia) was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, which was claimed to be marred by massive corruption, voter intimidation and electoral fraud. Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, was the focal point of the movement's campaign of civil resistance, with thousands of protesters demonstrating daily.[7] Nationwide,[8] the revolution was highlighted by a series of acts of civil disobedience, sit-ins, and general strikes organized by the opposition movement.

Orange Revolution
Part of the Colour Revolutions
Orange-clad demonstrators gather in the Independence Square in Kyiv on 22 November 2004.
Date22 November 2004 – 23 January 2005
(2 months and 1 day)
Ukraine, primarily Kyiv
Caused by
  • Reversal of authorities' attempt to rig the 2004 presidential elections[3]
  • Anti‐oligarch and anti‐corruption measures[4]
MethodsDemonstrations, civil disobedience, civil resistance, strike actions
Resulted in
Lead figures
Viktor Yushchenko
Yulia Tymoshenko
Leonid Kuchma
Viktor Medvedchuk
Viktor Yanukovych
Central Kyiv: hundreds of thousands up to one million by some estimates[5]
Death(s)1 man died from a heart attack[6]

The protests were prompted by reports from several domestic and foreign election monitors as well as the widespread public perception that the results of the run-off vote of 21 November 2004 between leading candidates Viktor Yushchenko and Viktor Yanukovych were rigged by the authorities in favour of the latter.[9] The nationwide protests succeeded when the results of the original run-off were annulled, and a revote was ordered by Ukraine's Supreme Court for 26 December 2004. Under intense scrutiny by domestic and international observers, the second run-off was declared to be "free and fair". The final results showed a clear victory for Yushchenko, who received about 52% of the vote, compared to Yanukovych's 44%. Yushchenko was declared the official winner and with his inauguration on 23 January 2005 in Kyiv, the Orange Revolution ended.

In the following years, the Orange Revolution had a negative connotation among pro-government circles in Belarus and Russia.[10][11][12][13]

In the 2010 presidential election, Yanukovych became Yushchenko's successor as Ukrainian President after the Central Election Commission and international observers declared that the presidential election was conducted fairly.[14] Yanukovych was ousted from power four years later following the February 2014 Euromaidan clashes in Kyiv's Independence Square. Unlike the bloodless Orange Revolution, these protests resulted in more than 100 deaths, occurring mostly between 18 and 20 February 2014.