A Comparison of the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia

Essay, 2013

8 Pages, Grade: 1,0


“Put on your lipstick, square your shoulders, suit up, and let’s fight the revolution.”

The distinguish Senior Senator from Maryland Barbara Mikulski being together with Margaret Chase Smith from Maine one of the longest serving female Senators in the history of her country.


In 2013 impressive prime time media coverage concentrated on huge demonstrations and large protest in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe were tracking a potential repetition of one of the most glorious colour revolutions back into public spotlight.

Throughout the Middle East – largely regarded as the battleground area with respect to the war against terrorism – civilian protest and partly even regime and government transition emerged so often that a neologisms was intervened creating the political term: “Arab Spring” Furthermore the large and almost unprecedented [except from the Orange Revolution] people driven movement in the Ukraine and their call for comprehensive change on president Janukotwitsch cached public attention as well. The Ukraine is the second largest state of the Europe and with so between the geopolitical influence of the European Union and the Russian Federation and therefore often described as a bellwether state between these two super powers.

In generally it can be stated that what is going on the Ukraine is very close to the attention and heart of the author as well. In the summer of 2012 I participated at an Ukrainian summer school concerning the language, culture and history of that state and I enjoyed the privilege to talk at the summer school with some invited guest such as his Excellency the ambassador of the Ukraine to Germany Pavlo Klimkin and former serving secretary of state of the Ukraine, the American Professor Dr. Margarita Balmaceda – who is regarded as one of the highest ranking American and worldwide experts on Eastern Europe – who is professor of Diplomacy and international Relations on the Seton Hall University of New Jersey and furthermore is engaged in the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. A third notable meeting in the field of culture was the discussion with the filmmaker Jakob Preuss, whose film and ZDF documentary “the other Chelsea – a story from donetsk” – received many awards in best documentary film categories. The film tells the story of the coal mining city of Donetsk – the most eastern county of the Ukraine bordering Russia, where is also located the political home base of President Viktor Yanukovych. The film is focussing on the football team founded and financed by an oligarchic billionaire, whose team actually won the UEFA cup in that year and furthermore the playbook focuses on the political prospect of a rising political star Letwschenko, who is entering the scene of national public spotlight and is fighting for an orange Counterrevolution against the back then incumbent President Viktor Yushenko and Prime minister Timoschenko. The insight in his classical new rich east European lifestyle and some off the record comments [already indicating the imprisment of Viktor Yanukovychs political rival Yulia Tymoshenko in case the blue counterrevolution will take his country back by the next presidential race together with the focus on the life of some coal worker on Main Street in Donetsk are quite stereotype for the East part of the Ukraine, who fought, rejected and is still battering against a pro EU and pro-Western course of the Ukrainian foreign policy. Likewise the Rose Revolution in Georgia one year before the peaceful power transition of the Ukraine was worth to watch and observe as well.

The Rose Revolution in Georgia

In Georgia emerged regular elections for a new Parliament in 2003. Public opinion polls, pundits and outside observer regarded a takeover of the opposition forces as a very likely electoral outcome. Various opposition parties were united under two electoral alliances. One of these alliances was led by Mikheil Saakashvili, who should become the leader of the revolution. The former secretary of state of the UDSSR Eduard Shevardnadze ruled Georgia as a head of State since 1992. Despite the excellent electoral chances of the opposition, who also won several regional contests in the previous year, official numbers reported a win of the Shevardnadze supporting electoral alliance – although exit polls suggested a victory of the political block of the opposition forces. Rumours about comprehensive voter fraud emerged and people across the country started to protest in a non-violence mode. The protest gathered more and more momentum. President Eduard Shevardnadze attended the opening ceremony of the newly elected parliament as protests lead by Saakashvili headed literally in the legislative body. The President guided by an Entourage of Bodyguards flew outside the building and ordered the elite forces of the police and military to take action against the protesters, though they refused to do so. Finally the Russian Secretary of State headed in and moderated talks between Shevardnadze and Saakashvili.

Shevardnadze resigned from office and new election for the president office emerged and the election for parliament, contest successfully by the Supreme Court, was replicated as well.

That story should spread wide hopes into other GUS states and one year later a majority of people of the Ukraine hoped and desperately tried to replicate the process and timetable of the Rose Revolution as a blue print to solve their own domestic crisis.

The (Revolutions) in the Ukraine

The orange revolution was a game changer in the history of the Ukraine. The Presidential race in 2004 between the political combatants Viktor Yushenko and Viktor Yanukovych emerged as an epic battle between a policy featuring more of the same or on changing course to the west with respect to the domestic and even more the foreign policy and implementation of some inner state democratic reforms.

While a wide sample of exit polls indicated a win of Viktor Yushenko over his political rival Viktor Yanukovych, official electoral commission of the Ukraine reported a win of the pro East-European and pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych. A wide range of electoral fraud was reported throughout the country. Therefore literally more and more people gathered in Kiev to protest and calling for a recount or respectively a re-conduct of the entire election.

That impressive movement got the label of the so called Orange Revolution. Around the globe governments, media and political observer watched closely the mob gathered in Kiev under the leadership of Yulia Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushenko to protest against electoral fraud and demanding a replication of the second ballot.


Excerpt out of 8 pages


A Comparison of the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia
Free University of Berlin  (Otto Suhr Institut)
Introduction to Comperative Politics
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Orange Revolution, Rose Revolution, 2004 Ukraine Presidential Election
Quote paper
Oliver Märtin (Author), 2013, A Comparison of the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/308289


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