Yushchenko is inaugurated:

Viktor A. Yushchenko, his face disfigured by poison, his fate nearly undone by electoral fraud, took the oath of office as president of Ukraine today, vowing to unite a poor and badly divided country and lead it into the mainstream of Europe. Speaking first in Parliament and then on Kiev’s central square, Mr. Yushchenko declared Ukraine’s freedom and independence in thinly veiled remarks aimed at the outgoing president, Leonid D. Kuchma, and at Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin, who openly supported his opponent…

In his speeches, Mr. Yushchenko, 50, was alternately conciliatory and defiant. His, he said, was a victory for all Ukrainians, and he pledged to honor the people’s right to worship in their own faith, to embrace their own politics and to speak in the language of their ancestors, the later a reference to the divisive issue of the Russian language, which Mr. Yanukovich had promised to make equal in law to Ukrainian. Mr. Yushchenko also vowed to fight the corruption and the shadowy economy that had become characteristic of the tumultuous decade under Mr. Kuchma, where a few closely allied with power accumulated vast fortunes. “We shall create a democratic power — honest, professional and patriotic,” he said. “The wall that separates government from the people will be destroyed.”

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