Yushchenko has linked the poisoning to a dinner with a group of senior Ukrainian officials, including the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Ihor Smeshko, on the evening before Yushchenko fell ill. In connection to that, theories of links to the Russian FSB were mentioned. This hypothesis is disputed by some toxicologists, who claim that symptoms of dioxin poisoning usually take 3-14 days to appear-John Henry, professor of accident and emergency medicine at St Mary's Hospital in London, said "a few months after swallowing" or other contact -and experiencing them a few hours after ingesting the poison would be unusual, though, given the extremely high concentration of dioxin found in his system, not impossible.
Unprecedented three rounds of voting
Viktor Yushchenko. Orange Revolution
Main articles: Orange Revolution and Post-election developments in Ukraine, 2004
The initial vote, held on 31 October 2004, saw Yushchenko obtaining 39.87% in front of Yanukovych with 39.32%. As no candidate reached the 50% margin required for outright victory, a second round of run-off voting was held on November 21, 2004. Although a 75% voter turnout was recorded, observers reported many irregularities and abuses across the country, such as organized multiple voting and extra votes for Yanukovych after the polls closed. Exit poll results put Yushchenko ahead in the western and central provinces of the country.
The alleged electoral fraud, combined with the fact that the exit polls recorded a result (an 11% margin of victory for Yushchenko in one poll) so radically different from the final vote tally (a 3% margin of victory for Yanukovych), prompted Yushchenko and his supporters to refuse to recognize the results.
After thirteen days of massive popular protests in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities, that became known as the Orange Revolution, the election results were overturned by the Supreme Court and a re-run of the run-off election was ordered for December 26. Yushchenko proclaimed a victory for the opposition and declared his confidence that he would be elected with at least 60% of the vote. He did win the third round, but with 51.99% of the vote.
On January 23, 2005, 12pm (Kiev time), the inauguration of Viktor Yushchenko as the President of Ukraine took place. The event was attended by various foreign dignitaries, including Arnold R??tel, Adrienne Clarkson, Vaira V??e-Freiberga, Vladimir Voronin, Aleksander Kwa?niewski, Traian B?sescu, Ivan Ga?parovi?, Ferenc M?dl, Artur Rasizade, Jan Peter Balkenende, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Nino Burjanadze, Art?ras Paulauskas, Colin Powell, special guest V?clav Havel, and numerous other guests.
Yushchenko meeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at an August 2005 CIS meeting.
The first 100 days of Yushchenko's term, January 23, 2005, through May 1, 2005, were marked by numerous dismissals and appointments at all levels of the executive branch. Yulia Tymoshenko was ratified by the Verkhovna Rada as the Prime Minister. Oleksandr Zinchenko was appointed the head of the presidential secretariat with a nominal title of the Secretary of State. Petro Poroshenko, a cutthroat competitor of Tymoshenko for the post of the Prime Minister, was appointed the Secretary of the Security and Defense Council.
Yushchenko extensively traveled abroad, having spent the yearly travel budget by mid-April. His most notable visits include Moscow (January 24), the European Parliament in Strasbourg (February 23), and the United States (early April).
In August 2005, Yushchenko joined with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in signing the Borjomi Declaration, which called for the creation of an institution of international cooperation, The Community of Democratic Choice, to bring together the democraticies and incipient democracies in the region around the Baltic, Black and Caspian Seas. The first meeting of presidents and leaders to discuss the CDC took place on December 1-2, 2005 in Kiev.
Dismissal of other Orange Revolution members
On September 8, 2005, Yushchenko fired his government, led by Yulia Tymoshenko, after resignations and corruption claims.
On September 9, acting Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov tried to form a new government. On September 22, Mr. Yekhanurov was ratified by the parliament on second attempt (289 ayes). In the first attempt (September 20), Mr. Yekhanurov fell short of 3 votes (223 ayes, 226 needed).
Yushchenko maintains warm relations with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
Also in September, former president of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk accused exiled Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky of financing Yushchenko's presidential election campaign, and provided copies of documents showing money transfers from companies he said are controlled by Berezovsky to companies controlled by Yushchenko's official backers. Berezovsky has confirmed that he met Yushchenko's representatives in London before the election, and that the money was transferred from his companies, but he refused to confirm or deny that the companies that received the money were used in Yushchenko's campaign. Financing of election campaigns by foreign citizens is illegal in Ukraine.
In August 2006, he appointed his onetime opponent in the presidential race, Viktor Yanukovych, to be the new Prime Minister. This was generally regarded as simultaneous with a move by Ukraine back into the Russian fold. 
Family and private life
Yushchenko is married to Kateryna Yushchenko-Chumachenko (his second wife). She is a Ukrainian-American born in Chicago and a former official with the U.S. State Department, where she worked as a special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Much criticized for her US citizenship by her husband's opponents, Kateryna became a Ukrainian citizen on March 31, 2005. During the recent election campaign, Kateryna was accused of exerting the influence of the U.S. government on her husband's decisions, as an employee of the U.S. government or even a CIA agent. A Russian state television journalist had earlier accused her of leading a U.S. project to help Yushchenko seize power in Ukraine; in January 2002, she won a libel case against that journalist. Ukraine's then anti-Yushchenko Inter TV channel repeated the allegations in 2001, but in January 2003 she won a libel case against that channel as well.
Yushchenko has five children and two grandchildren: sons Andriy and Taras, daughters Vitalina, Sophia and Khrystyna, grandchildren Yaryna and Viktor.
A practicing member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Yushchenko often emphasizes the deep role of his religious convictions in his life and worldview.
Yushchenko's main hobbies are Ukrainian traditional culture (including art ceramics and archaeology), mountaineering and beekeeping. He is keen on painting, collects antiques, objects of folk-customs and Ukrainian national clothes, and restores objects of Trypillya culture.
Each year he climbs Hoverla, Ukraine's highest mountain. After receiving a checkup in which doctors determined he was healthy despite the previous year's dioxin poisoning, he successfully climbed the mountain again on July 16, 2005.
During that climb Yushchenko and a group of his bodyguards were reportedly struck by a lightning bolt. The incident has never been officially described, although the media cited witnesses stating that President and all but one guard fell unconscious. However, the President's office later admitted that other climbers had been injured or killed by that lightning strike. , ,