Who Really Won?

Monday, November 29, 2004

A Silent Act of Rebellion Raises a Din in Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine, Nov. 28 - The most striking, and the most potentially significant, public rebellion against President Leonid D. Kuchma and his chosen successor in last Sunday's contested election began silently.

Last Thursday morning, Natalia Dimitruk, an interpreter for the deaf on the Ukraine's official state UT-1 television, disregarded the anchor's report on Prime Minister Viktor F. Yanukovich's "victory" and, in her small inset on the screen, began to sign something else altogether.

"The results announced by the Central Electoral Commission are rigged," she said in the sign language used in the former Soviet states. "Do not believe them."

She went on to declare that Viktor A. Yushchenko, the opposition leader, was the country's new president. "I am very disappointed by the fact that I had to interpret lies," she went on. "I will not do it any more. I do not know if you will see me again."