Good start:

It took impressive personal courage for Viktor Yushchenko to overcome a nearly fatal poisoning and brazen electoral fraud to become Ukraine’s new president. It will now take extraordinary political agility for him to begin delivering on the huge expectations that accompany him into office. He needs to strike out boldly in several very different directions: healing the geographic and political divisions, rooting corruption, and charting a course toward eventual EU membership without alienating Russia.

Yushchenko is off to a fairly encouraging start. His inaugural speech was conciliatory. The next day, he took a symbolically significant trip to Moscow, where he spoke of Russia as Ukraine’s “eternal strategic partner.” On a more troubling note, Yushchenko nominated Yulia Tymoshenko, an ambitious ally, as prime minister.

Tymoshenko is a divisive figure who rose to prominence in the 1990s as a rich and powerful energy executive. She has gone from being an ally of a corrupt prime minister to a fighter of corruption. But the problem with her nomination lies less in the distant events than in Tymoshenko’s uncompromising speeches over the past few weeks. National reconciliation must be more than a slogan in a country where most of the industry and wea-lth are located in regions that voted overwhelmingly against Yushchenko. — The New York Times