Ukraine's Bumpy Road to Democracy

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In 2004 the world watched in amazement as a democratic uprising swept the former Soviet republic of Ukraine.

This week it took another big step when it joined the World Trade Organization.

Ukraine hopes to finally break free from Russia's grasp, and become an important ally for America.

Ukraine re-launched its experiment in democracy in December.

After months of political stalemate, a special election gave the supporters of democracy a narrow victory in the parliament.

President Viktor Yushenko and newly appointed Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko -- the heroes of the Orange Revolution - controlled the government.

With pro-democracy forces in charge, this vital part of the old Soviet empire aims to join the West, the European Union - perhaps even NATO.

Yushenko has already asked NATO to begin the membership process in April.

That's an outcome Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to prevent, because if Ukraine becomes a bastion for Western-style democracy, Russia's hopes to return to its status as a superpower could suffer a fatal setback.

"Without Ukraine it won't be able to rebuild its empire, if ever it will try, so control of Ukraine, domination of Ukraine is very important for Moscow," said Ariel Cohen of the Heritage Foundation.

Putin has tried to control Ukraine through powerful politicians and businessmen sympathetic to Russia.

But the 2004 Orange Revolution struck a blow against Russian domination and old-style, hardball politics.

And what brought about that monumental moment in history?

Yusheno says a Kiev church played a major role.

In the summer of 2004, the Embassy of God, led by Nigerian-born Pastor Sunday Adelaja, successfully protested the government's confiscation of their church property.

It paved the way for the political revolution that shook Ukraine just six months later.

Pastor Sunday Adelaja will be shared his story on today's 700 Club today. Click play to watch the interview.

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CBN News
Steve Little

Steve Little

CBN News

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