Revolutionary Colors

Natalia Kovalyova
UT Austin

A recent wave of regime-changing uprisings in the Eastern Europe was a topic of much discussion while the events were unfolding and their commonalities generated a sizeable amount of scholarly work that defined them as a “second wave of post-communist electoral revolutions” (Tucker 2005). Apart from being close in time, these pro-democracy movements were centered about fraud in elections organized by the administration: as a result of seriously mishandling of electoral procedures and vote counting, mass protests took place; after some period of time, the incumbent president resigned and/or election results were overturned, and the leader of the opposition became a new president. Yet, in a very strict sense of a word, the term revolution does not apply to those events as they have not produced any long-term consequences and social changes. Rather, the term revolution in their regard identifies that the movement was successful in “overthrowing the current regime” (Tucker 2005, p.2).
This paper examines one such movement – the “Orange Revolution” of 2004 in Ukraine – using a collection of news (776 stories) captured by in October – December 2004. The sources of the news include the BBC, CNN, Deutsche Welle, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, The Times, The Financial Times, and news agencies (Associated Press and Reuter). The analysis uses a close reading of texts focusing in labels mentioned, actors or interested parties identified, and perspectives employed in order to gain insight into versions of the Orange Revolution that were presented to the (international) public.

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