Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
|First Deputy||Oleksandr Turchynov|
|Parliamentary leader||Andriy Kozhemiakin|
|Founded||9 February 2001|
|Dissolved||15 December 2012|
|Preceded by||National Salvation Committee|
|Succeeded by||Dictatorship Resistance Committee|
However, parties in the Tymoshenko Bloc can have stances on some issues that vary considerably.
|Colours||Red heart on a white background|
1The alliance contained different political groups with diverging ideological outlooks
The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (Ukrainian: Блок Юлії Тимошенко, БЮТ; Blok Yuliyi Tymoshenko, BYuT) was the name of the bloc of political parties in Ukraine led by Yulia Tymoshenko since 2001. In November 2011 the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections was banned. The core party of the alliance, Fatherland, remained a major force in Ukrainian politics.
Founded for the 2002 parliamentary elections, the alliance attracted most of its voters from western Ukrainian (Ukrainian speaking) provinces (oblasts) and from central Ukraine. The alliance had low support in the east and the south of Ukraine (where the Russian language is dominant). though they did recruit several politicians from these Russian-speaking provinces like Crimea (Lyudmyla Denisova) and Luhansk Oblast (Natalia Korolevska). The alliance was often associated with the 2004 Orange Revolution (the alliance's leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, was one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution) and thus named "Orange Party" in media publications. The alliance also had prominent members who had been associated with the opponents of the Orange Revolutions (the "Blue camp") including Ivan Kyrylenko, the former faction leader of the Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) in the Ukrainian Parliament. Other notable BYuT deputies were Soviet dissident Levko Lukyanenko and former UNA-UNSO leader Andriy Shkil.
BYuT had intended to include more representatives from the education sector into its voting lists. According to Tymoshenko: "Certain branches and sectors have powerful lobbies. And there are only three to four lobbyists who represent the spheres of education and health care in the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament]. Therefore some sectors lack financing, while others have excessive funding".
According to Tymoshenko, representatives of business had no dominant influence on decision making in her political force. "Business is represented in the parliament, but it doesn't shape politics this is what distinguishes my political force from the Party of Regions for instance." Several billionaires have been members of the BYuT faction in the Verkhovna Rada.
In January 2001 President Leonid Kuchma dismissed Tymoshenko from the post of Deputy Prime Minister for fuel and energy sector in the cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko. Following this, and during the Ukraine without Kuchma-protests, Tymoshenko began the loose organisation the National Salvation Committee on 9 February 2001. This organisation later merged into the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (BYuT) in November 2001.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe noted at the time that there were physical assaults and harassment of candidates and campaign workers associated with the BYuT and other opposition parties leading up to the March 2002 election. The BYuT itself complained of campaign-related violations including "an informal 'media blackout,' [and] negatively slanted coverage".
- Fatherland Party (Partiya Bat'kivshchyna ), also rendered as All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (Vseukrajins’ke Ob’ednannja Bat’kivščyna) (13 berths)
- Ukrainian Republican Party "Sobor" (Ukrajins’ka Respublikanska Partija Sobor) (3 berths)
- Ukrainian Social Democratic Party (Ukrajins’ka Social-Demokratyčna Partija) (3 berths)
- Ukrainian Republican Party (Ukrajinska Respublikanska Partija) (1 berth)
- Non-partisan (2 berths)
- Top 10 members
The bloc won 7.2% of the popular vote and 22 out of 450 seats. This result was better than expected, because BYuT had limited access to the media and limited support from local authorities.
The alliance supported Viktor Yushchenko during the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004, and played an active role in the widespread acts of civil non-violent protest that became known as the Ukrainian Orange Revolution.
The party had lost a few seats in 2002 and 2003, but doubled to 40 members of parliament in September 2005.
The BYuT entered the parliamentary elections on 26 March 2006 with only Fatherland and Ukrainian Social Democratic Party after both republican parties left the alliance. Nonetheless BYuT moved into second place with 22.27% of the vote behind Party of Regions with 33% and ahead of Our Ukraine with less than 14% support. BYuT won 129 seats out of 450.
Note that after the 2002 merger of the Ukrainian Republican Party "Sobor" and the Ukrainian Republican Party – which then became known as the Ukrainian Republican Party "Sobor" (URP Sobor) – the party went through a schism before the 2006 elections. The majority of the party led by Anatoliy Mativienko aligned with Our Ukraine Bloc, while others left the party and stayed with BYuT. After the 2006 elections, Levko Lukyanenko managed to reinstate the original Ukrainian Republican Party.
- Top 10 members
It was widely expected that a coalition between supporters of the Orange Movement would form Ukraine's next government, but after three months of negotiations and a failure to reach an agreement the proposed coalition collapsed following the decision of the Socialist Party of Ukraine to support the formation of the "anti-crisis coalition" with Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine.
During the 2007 parliamentary elections, the BYuT consisted of:
- Top 10 members
In the parliamentary elections on 30 September 2007, the bloc won 156 of 450 seats (and thus 30.71% of the total votes), securing an additional 1.5 million votes (8.24%) in comparison with the 2006 election. Most of this vote swing came as a result of consolidation in regions where BYuT had already been the leading party. Statistics published by Ukraine's Central Electoral Commission indicate that most of the swing came from minor parties with some voters turning away from the Socialist Party and to a lesser extent Our Ukraine.
On 15 October 2007, Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc agreed to form a majority coalition in the new parliament of the 6th convocation. On 29 November, a coalition was signed between the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD) which together had received 45% of the national vote. On 18 December 2007 Yulia Tymoshenko, with a margin of two votes, was elected Prime Minister.
During the 2008 Ukrainian political crisis the BYuT–OU-PSD coalition faltered. There were negotiations between BYuT and Party of Regions to form a coalition but after Volodymyr Lytvyn was elected Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on 9 December 2008, he announced the creation of a coalition between his Lytvyn Bloc, BYuT and OU-PSD. Following negotiations, the three parties officially signed the coalition agreement on 16 December. It was unsure if this coalition would stop the snap election although Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn predicted that the Verkhovna Rada would work until the next scheduled elections in 2012. President Viktor Yushchenko's decree to dissolve the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) – made during the 2008 Ukrainian political crisis – was never put into action.
On 3 July 2009 the Verkhovna Rada terminated the mandate of BYuT deputy Viktor Lozinskyi. At the time there was a criminal proceeding against Lozinskyi who was suspected of deliberately inflicting grave bodily harm causing death; the Prosecutor-General's Office had applied to the Verkhovna Rada for permission to arrest Lozinskyi. 416 out of 444 deputies registered in Parliament, including 133 deputies of the BYoT, voted for removal of the Lozinskyi's parliamentary immunity.
Return to opposition
After the fall of the second Tymoshenko Government on 3 March 2010 (seven BYuT lawmakers had supported the motion of no confidence) BYuT moved into opposition. On 11 March 2010 BYuT appealed to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine to terminate the parliamentary mandates of six parliamentarians who had joined a the new parliamentary coalition. Ten representative of BYuT joined the coalition supporting the Azarov Government as an independent MP in April 2010.
It late May 2010 BYuT deputies had to submit new applications for faction membership. On 26 June 2010 the Political Council Presidium of All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" expelled Oleksandr Feldman, a Verkhovna Rada deputy of the BYuT faction, from the party because he had joined the coalition supporting the Azarov Government the previous month. On 21 September 2010, another 28 members of the faction where officially expelled because they had joined the majority coalition.
By late 2010 the BYuT faction consisted of 113 lawmakers of the original 156 elected in September 2007. Most who left BYuT had become members of the "Stability and Reforms" coalition supporting the Azarov Government (17 of these became founding members of Reforms for the Future in February 2011). Four joined the Party of Regions faction in October 2010 (followed by five others in March 2011). In early February 2011 seven more deputies where expelled from the faction. On 2 February 2011 party-leader Tymoshenko claimed members of the "Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko-Batkivschyna"-faction had been offered money and places in the election list of the Party of Regions and have been blackmailed into voting for laws introduced by the Azarov Government. In 2011 the faction of BYuT lost 11 more deputies. On 29 December 2011 it consisted of 102 deputies.
Alliance leader Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in jail in October 2011 on abuse of power charges. Ukrainian President Yanukovych and the Party of Regions have been accused of trying to create a "controlled democracy" in Ukraine, and as a means to this tried to "destroy" main opposition party BYuT, but both have denied this charges.
In November 2011 the participation of blocs of political parties in parliamentary elections was banned. The People's Self-Defense Political Party merged with All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland".
"Fatherland" and Reforms and Order Party (with People's Movement of Ukraine) announced to compete one single party list during the parliamentary elections in March 2012. On 7 April 2012 Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his party Front of Changes would join them on this (single) party list.
On 15 March 2012 the Ukrainian Social-Democratic Party was expelled from the bloc for alleged "cooperation with the presidential administration and the ruling regime"; the day before the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party party-leader Natalia Korolevska had been expelled from the "Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko-Batkivschyna"-faction. The Ukrainian Social-Democratic Party had stated in December 2011 "that we are doing nothing that can harm the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko... Our task is to collect the most votes in parliament at the 2012 parliamentary elections". On 22 March 2012 the Ukrainian Social-Democratic Party was renamed Party of Natalia Korolevska "Ukraine – Forward!".
"Fatherland" became the "umbrella" party with an election list that included members of Reforms and Order Party, People's Movement of Ukraine, Front of Changes, For Ukraine, People's Self-Defense, Civil Position and Social Christian Party. In July 2012 members of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People joined this list. This list named themselves: United Opposition "Fatherland". During the election the list won 62 seats and 25.55% of the votes under the proportional party-list system (falling from 30.71% in 2007 for BYuT) and another 39 by winning 39 simple-majority constituencies. This gave them a total of 101 seats and 22.67% of the 450 seats in the Ukrainian Parliament. The party lost about 2 million voters compared with BYuT's results in the previous election.
On 15 June 2013 Reforms and Order Party and Front for Change merged into "Fatherland".
The official ideology of the block is solidarism. But in the block includes parties with different ideology: pro-Europe, liberal nationalistic and social democratic. The hostile parties claim that the ideology of BYuT is populism.
22 / 450
|Leading government (2005)|
129 / 450
156 / 450
|27||Leading government (2007–2010)|
|Year||Candidate||First round||Second round||Won/Loss|
|2004||Supported Viktor Yushchenko|
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The BYuT had advocated the following positions:
- Constitutional reform – BYuT proposed a national referendum on the system of governance (Presidential or Parliamentary) and the adoption a new constitution. On 15 February 2010 BYuT faction leader Ivan Kyrylenko stated "We think that that there is a post that is unnecessary in the state" (without mentioning which post he meant).
- Justice – The bloc advocated raising salaries for judges and abolishing the requirement for them to hear specific cases. They proposed legal aid schemes for poor citizens so that income would not be the final determinant of judicial representation and consideration.
- Media – The bloc advocated for the creation of public broadcast television, greater transparency and disclosure of ownership of media interests, the establishment of agreements between owners of media outlets and journalists in order to facilitate open and honest editorial policy, and increased Internet availability.
- Corruption – The bloc proposed implementing a systematic program to combat corruption.
- Social reform – The bloc proposed to improve social welfare services while encouraging an expansion of the population. Specific plans included obligatory medical insurance, free state medical services for those in need, affordable medication, a rural doctor program, and increased payments for each newborn child. In addition, there were proposals for increased baby-care allowances and long-term low interest loans for young families.
- Education – The bloc proposed to restore the status and raise the standards of the education system to stop the brain drain problem. Measures included incentives for investment in professional and higher education and in research and development.
- Transit – The bloc proposed to build new oil and gas pipelines and expand public-private partnership investments to improve roads, railways and airports. They advocated a liberalization of the transit system.
- Business – The bloc wished to address the imbalance between large enterprises, which dominate the business sector, and small enterprises by encouraging the growth of wealth-creating small- and medium-sized enterprises. They advocated a new tax code while expanding assessment, minimizing tax remissions, abolishing VAT, and overall simplifying the process to set up and administer businesses. They advocated lower business lending rates in line with European levels, and measures to liberalize banking and insurance services and encourage longer-term lending. Shareholder rights will be protected, the permit system reformed, and the governmental bureaucracy reduced.
- Energy – The bloc sought to overturn the nation's dependence on monopolies for importing energy while strengthening collaboration and coordination of energy policy with the EU. Specific policies included integration with the European market for the supply and consumption of electricity, measures to reduce oil and gas consumption, an increase in utilization of brown coal and the production of synthetic fuel. They wished to complete the Odessa–Brody–Plotsk (Gdańsk) transit pipeline, build a gas transit pipeline linking the Caspian Sea (running through Azerbaijan and Georgia) and the Black Sea, and encourage domestic production both onshore and offshore in the Black and Azov Seas.
- Investment – The bloc encouraged domestic and foreign investment by removing legal barriers and streamlining procedures, particularly for the technology and energy sectors. Other proposals included transparent and open privatization and tender processes and the establishment of a network of regional ombudsman to simplify processes for obtaining import certificates. All new legislation was to be in accordance with WTO practices.
- Construction – BYuT proposed a system of mortgage lending with lower interest rates for house purchases along with government targets for public housing projects. Decentralization to the regional level would facilitate these targets for both housing and commercial facilities. Special tax incentives were envisioned for industrial projects to complement planning for investment described above.
- Agriculture – The bloc advocated a stronger, more profitable and environmentally responsible agricultural sector. Crucial measures included the availability of development funds, agricultural exchanges, insurance funds and land-banks. Other initiatives involved the promotion of agricultural products to overseas markets. To facilitate a functioning land market, agricultural producers would have access to low-interest loans, with incentives for the development of cooperative banks and credit unions in rural areas.
Relationships with other parties
Late May was marked with another story on a boring subject – betrayal, conspiracy, coup d'état, the usurpation of power and other terrible things. This has already become a political characteristic of Ukraine.
Relations with arch-rival Party of Regions (PoR) has always been sour but at times seemed to improve. In 2009 a coalition government between these two seemed to become a reality. But early June talks to build a broad coalition to address the economic crisis collapsed; Yulia Tymoshenko accused PoR leader Viktor Yanukovych of betrayal. At that time, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko showed little enthusiasm for a BYuT–PoR coalition.
Although unrelated to these developments,[relevant? ] American analyst Ryan Renicker asserted that allegations of Tymoshenko's alleged wrongdoings are unsubstantiated and misguided. Official documents from both the European Union and the United States suggest Tymoshenko's prosecution and imprisonment were politically motivated.
References and Footnotes
- BYT-Batkivschyna replaces its leader, Kyiv Post (7 December 2011)
- You Scratch My Back, and I’ll Scratch Yours, The Ukrainian Week (26 September 2012)
- (Russian language) Tymoshenko bloc elected (at the Party Congress) as its ideology solidarism. 8 December 2005.
- "Political blog profile: The Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (02/26/06)". Ukrweekly.com. 26 February 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- Haran, Olexiy; Burkovsky, Petro (2009), "In the Aftermath of the Revolution: From Orange Victory to Sharing Power with Opponents", Ukraine on Its Meandering Path Between East and West, Peter Lang, p. 96
- Against All Odds:Aiding Political Parties in Georgia and Ukraine by Max Bader, Vossiuspers UvA, 2010, ISBN 978-90-5629-631-5 (page 82)
It may refer to one or several of the following:
- the "Yulia Tymoshenko Electoral Bloc" which contested the 2002 parliamentary election
- the "Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc" which contested the 2006 parliamentary election.
- the "Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc" which contested the 2007 parliamentary election.
- the "Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc" parliamentary faction formed by the above-mentioned bloc
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- Q&A: Ukrainian parliamentary poll, BBC News (1 October 2007)
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- Yulia Tymoshenko’s orbits Archived 1 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Ukrayinska Pravda (20 March 2006)
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- Levko Lukyanenko[permanent dead link], Verkhovna Rada
- Shkil Andriy, Kyiv Post (25 February 2009)
- Andriy Shkil Archived 27 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Verkhovna Rada
- Tymoshenko to include more education sector's representatives into voting lists during parliamentary election, Kyiv Post (5 October 2009)
- Business has hardly any influence in BYT, says Tymoshenko Archived 9 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine (7 December 2009)
- No. 50 Richest: Tariel Vasadze, 63, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
- No. 40 Richest: Serhiy and Oleksandr Buryak, 44 and 40, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
- No. 43 Richest: Oleksandr Feldman, 50, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
- No. 26 Richest: Yevhen Sihal, 55, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
- Kostyantin Valentynovych Zhevago, Bloomberg L.P. (2009)
- No. 11 Richest: Andriy Verevsky, 36, Kyiv Post (17 December 2010)
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- Virtual Politics - Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World, Andrew Wilson, Yale University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-300-09545-7
Ukraine on Its Meandering Path Between East and West by Andrej Lushnycky and Mykola Riabchuk, Peter Lang, 2009, ISBN 303911607X
Ukraine at the Crossroads: Velvet Revolution or Belarusification by Olexiy Haran, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, October 2002
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- (in Ukrainian) Українська республіканська партія „Собор", Database DATA
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- Ukraine coalition set to reform, BBC News (9 December 2008)
- New parliamentary majority receives name, Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (11 December 2008)
- Lavrynovych Speaking About Majority Between BYuT, OU PSD, Lytvyn Bloc And Communist Party Faction At Rada, Ukrainian News Agency (13 December 2008) "Lytvyn announced about creating a coalition between BYuT, the Our Ukraine – People's Self-Defense Bloc faction and the Lytvyn Bloc. However, the coalition agreement has not been signed so far."
- Tymoshenko Bloc, OU-PSD, And Lytvyn Bloc Sign Rada Coalition Agreement Archived 22 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Ukrainian News Agency (16 December 2008)
- President calls on VR to focus on overcoming economic crisis, UNIAN (11 December 2008)
- Yushchenko categorically opposed to "coalition of three" – Hrytsenko, UNIAN (15 December 2008)
- Presidential Secretariat urges parliament to include early election funds in 2009 budget Archived 30 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine (15 December 2008)
- Lytvyn Predicts Rada’s Work Until 2012 Archived 23 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine, Ukrainian News Agency (13 December 2008) "I can reassure everyone that snap elections will not be held... If the Rada is working adequately and the public sees its efficiency, the Parliament will work next four-year", he said.
- Ukraine timeline, BBC News
- Rada lifts Lozynskiy's immunity in connection with murder investigation, Kyiv Post (3 July 2009)
- Parliament takes away deputy mandate of Lozinsky Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine (3 July 2009)
- "Tymoshenko enters presidential race". 25 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 November 2010.
- "Ukraine PM enters tight presidential race". 24 October 2009.[permanent dead link]
- MPs desert defeated Ukraine candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, BBC News (21 September 2010)
- Sobolev: Seven MPs from BYT bribed to vote for Tymoshenko's resignation, Kyiv Post (3 March 2010)
- Tymoshenko says cabinet won't stay on as caretaker, Kyiv Post (3 March 2010)
- Tymoshenko: Government members will immediately leave offices after Rada's decision on cabinet dismissal, Kyiv Post (3 March 2010)
- Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc wants its members joining coalition to be stripped of mandates, Kyiv Post (11 March 2010)
- Another MP from BYT joins coalition, Kyiv Post (13 April 2010)
- Eight parties sign agreement on creation of united opposition, Kyiv Post (16 March 2010)
- Tymoshenko urges BYuT deputies to submit new applications for faction membership, Kyiv Post (29 May 2010)
- Batkivschyna Expels Feldman From Party, Kyiv Post (26 June 2010)
- BYuT-Batkivschyna parliament faction expels 28 members, Kyiv Post (21 September 2010)
- (in Ukrainian) Фракція БЮТ змінила свою назву, STB (16 November 2010)
- (in Ukrainian) Завтра в Раді може з'явитися нова фракція Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Ukrainian News Agency (15 February 2011)
- (in Ukrainian) Група "Реформи заради майбутнього" у Верховній Раді України[permanent dead link], Verkhovna Rada
- (in Ukrainian) Депутатські фракції Archived 15 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Verkhovna Rada
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- Seven BYT deputies who voted for constitutional amendments expelled from faction, Kyiv Post (1 February 2011)
- Tymoshenko: 'I'm praying for – not condemning – faction traitors', Kyiv Post (2 February 2011)
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- Tomenko:Batkivschyna not planning to change its leader Tymoshenko, Kyiv Post (4 December 2012)
- Yulia Tymoshenko ends hunger strike after hospital move, BBC News (9 May 2012)
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- Tymoshenko, Lutsenko aware of their parties' unification, Kyiv Post (29 December 2011)
- Opposition to form single list to participate in parliamentary elections, Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
- (in Ukrainian) "ФРОНТ ЗМІН" ІДЕ В РАДУ З "БАТЬКІВЩИНОЮ", 'Ukrayinska Pravda (7 April 2012)
Yatseniuk wants to meet with Tymoshenko to discuss reunion of opposition, 'Kyiv Post (7 April 2012)
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- Korolevska expelled from Batkivschyna faction, Kyiv Post (14 March 2012)
- Korolevska promises not to change ideology of Ukrainian Social Democratic Party, Kyiv Post (24 December 2011)
- (in Ukrainian) Королевська перейменувалася та обіцяє звинувачувати лідерів БЮТ, 'Ukrayinska Pravda (22 March 2012)
- (in Ukrainian) УСДП перейменувалася в партію "Україна – Вперед!", BBC Ukrainian (22 March 2012)
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- Opposition to form single list to participate in parliamentary elections, 'Kyiv Post (2 March 2012)
(in Ukrainian) "ФРОНТ ЗМІН" ІДЕ В РАДУ З "БАТЬКІВЩИНОЮ", 'Ukrayinska Pravda (7 April 2012)
Yatseniuk wants to meet with Tymoshenko to discuss reunion of opposition, 'Kyiv Post (7 April 2012)
- (in Ukrainian) Tymoshenko and Yatsenyuk united ("Тимошенко та Яценюк об'єдналися"), 'Ukrayinska Pravda (23 April 2012)
- Civil Position party joins Ukraine's united opposition, Kyiv Post (20 June 2012)
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- (in Ukrainian) Proportional votes Archived 30 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine & Constituency seats Archived 5 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine
% of total seats, Ukrayinska Pravda
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Front for Change, Reforms and Order to dissolve for merger with Batkivshchyna - Sobolev, Ukrinform (11 June 2013))
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