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Museum to victims of "orange revolution" to open in east Ukraine

KIEV, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - A museum devoted to the "victims" of the 2004 "orange revolution" will open in the east Ukrainian city of Lugansk August 20, a local newspaper said Thursday.

Organizers said the exposition would demonstrate the harmfulness of uprisings like the 2004 protests in the capital, Kiev, and other cities, that swept the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko into the presidency of the ex-Soviet state.

A paper cutout of Yushchenko carrying a sign reading "I do what I like with the Constitution" - in an apparent reference to the president's bitter dispute with the legislature over its dismissal earlier this year - will be the first exhibit to greet visitors, the Sehodnya paper said.

A stand next to Yushchenko will feature photographs and newspaper articles entitled "The myths of Yushchenko's election promises," and another exhibit will be devoted to "The clan of Yushchenko relatives in the Supreme Rada," the paper said.

There will also be a stand addressing recent moves to restrict the use of the Russian language, still widely used in the country, especially in the industrial east and the Crimean Peninsula.

A collection of poetry by Alexander Pushkin and Nikolai Nekrasov and a Russian language textbook will be placed in a glass case with a sign reading "Forbidden."

The exposition will also feature a "camp bed" belonging to Yulia Tymoshenko, the president's flamboyant "orange revolution" ally, who demonstrated it to journalists saying she spent many nights in her office during the winter protests, when thousands of people lived in tents in the central Independence Square.

A spokesman for Tymoshenko's eponymous bloc told the paper that "orange" parties would not protest against the exposition: "What is there to protest against? Against absurdity?" Oleh Lyashko asked.

Toy soldiers in NATO uniforms scattered across a map of Ukraine on a huge table in the center of the exposition are to demonstrate what Ukraine would have been like if "orange" forces had won an overwhelming victory in general elections last year. The coal-mining region Donbass is cordoned off by barbed wire on the map.

Some media reports said Russia's ambassador to Ukraine, Viktor Chernomyrdin, had been invited to attend the opening of the museum. The Embassy did not confirm the report.

The museum in Lugansk is apparently designed as a counter to a museum to the "Soviet invasion," which opened in Kiev recently, a museum devoted to victims of Soviet totalitarianism, soon to open in Lvov, western Ukraine, and is a reflection of the divisions within Ukrainian society.

Authorities in Lvov said in late June that the museum would be arranged in a building formerly housing a Soviet security prison. They said they had allocated about $40,000 for the project, which involves historians and other experts, who are to prepare the concept by November.

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