Rada votes for elections before December 9

The Ukrainian parliament (the Rada) has passed a resolution ruling that presidential and parliamentary elections should be held simultaneously before December 9.

Meanwhile, there are only 254 MPs in the Rada at the moment, after allies close to President Yushchenko gave up their seats when he issued his first decree to dissolve Parliament. So it is unknown if the Presidential elections will have to go ahead.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has dismissed one of the Constitutional Court judges for allegedly violating an oath of office. This information has not been confirmed by the President’s press service so far.

The decision comes as the Court continued hearings into the legality of President Yushchenko's decision to dissolve Parliament and call early elections.

Ukraine remains deadlocked in the political crisis that has gone on for almost a month now though Viktor Yanukovich still believes the compromise is possible.

West of the country has begun to wake up to the political message of the ruling coalition. Those who have travelled to both Eastern and Western Ukraine, say that being in Lviv is like being in another world, and the city highlights how diverse Ukraine is. In its streets one can never tell whether he is in Prague, Belgrade or Vienna. Not only its appearance is different, but its attitude and politics as well.

Unlike mostly pro-Russian Eastern Ukraine, there people and politicians stand for close integration with Europe and NATO.

That might just be the reason for the huge popularity of the Orange opposition there. The whole region is governed by deputies of the Our Ukraine party and Yulia Timoshenko's bloc. They say that is why they are not taking people to the streets.

“Who should we go to protest against – our Governor? The City Council members are all from the Orange camp. Once we organised a so-called protest, set up a stage in the centre of Lviv. People gathered but it brought nothing,” Aleksandr Starovoit, Our Ukraine Lviv spokesman said.

Support for the ruling coalition there is few, to say the least. But since President Yushchenko's decision to dissolve Parliament, their popularity is reported to have grown by 5%. Yaroslav Trush feels no shame to be the only supporter of the Party of the Regions on his block. He explains why.

“When the Orange forces came to power, me and my son were fired without any reason. We lost our only source of income. Since then I have begun to look more carefully at the politicians. From this point of view, the Party of Regions is closer to me,” Yaroslav Trush, Party of Regions activist declared.