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Vitali Klitschko: Risks For The West's Anointed Hero In Ukraine

The former boxing champion has been plucked by the Western media as the new face of Ukraine's opposition. The situation is more complicated than that, even as risks for all rise.

Vitali Klitschko leading a Kiev protest last month
Vitali Klitschko leading a Kiev protest last month
Cathrin Kahlweit

KIEV — Vitali Klitschko — the name is synonymous with victory in the boxing ring, but not so on the political stage. The former boxer has run twice in the mayoral elections in Kiev, and lost both times. During the national elections in 2012, his Udar party narrowly missed its aim to gain 15% of the vote.

Now, as Ukrainian opposition masses are locked in a battle in the streets with authorities to protest against the government's refusal to sign a pact with the European Union, the eyes of the Western media are turned on Klitschko.

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Mariateresa Fichele

Fifteen years ago, Francesco kept busy by scamming people. He was a regular visitor to the beaches of Terracina, south of Rome, where he was caught several times selling counterfeit Ray-Ban sunglasses. Then came the drugs, which fed a serious substance-induced psychosis and eventually he tested positive for HIV.

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