President &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/cis/2002/04/19/27783.html ' target=_blank>Leonid Kuchma has been the president of Ukraine for 10 of the 13 years since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union.
He arrived on the political scene as a "red director" - the boss of a Soviet rocket factory - and ultimately became a master powerbroker among Ukrainian oligarchs.
His chief of staff and his son-in-law are two of the country's most powerful men - politically and economically - while the candidate they jointly put forward for the presidency, Viktor Yanukovych, was a representative of the country's other top clan, reports BBC News.
"If a revote date isn't set quickly after the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/cis/2002/10/22/38499.html ' target=_blank>Supreme Court's ruling, we will begin taking adequate steps against the authorities." - opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko, talking to supporters in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
"We aren't letting anyone through. Why should we? We are so close to victory, why surrender now?" - Natalya Nechipurenko, one of thousands of protesters blockading the Cabinet building in Kiev.
"This is the breaking point. The destiny of my country is being decided" - Alisa Orap, a Kiev advertising agency worker.
"If the Supreme Court annuls the election and does not declare Viktor Yanukovych the winner, eastern Ukraine will split from western Ukraine." - Alla Nechapaiko, a university student in the eastern city of Donetsk, wrote the Seattle Post.
According to the Xinhua News, Ukraine has been in a political crisis since the November 21 presidential election, victory in which has been claimed by both pro-Moscow candidate, Prime Minister Yanukovich, and pro-Western candidate, opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.
Russia may terminate all kinds of military and military-technical relations with Israel, including the agreement on the exchange of reconnaissance data
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea