KIEV (Reuters) – Viktor Yanukovich said on Friday he was resigning as Ukraine’s prime minister, but refused to concede defeat in a presidential poll as a vast New Year crowd feted liberal Viktor Yushchenko’s victory in Kiev’s main square.

Yanukovich has denounced his rival’s victory in the re-run of last month’s rigged election and is pursuing legal challenges to overturn the outcome.

But in a New Year’s address, he admitted the appeals to election authorities and the Supreme Court stood little chance.

New Year’s photoblogging from Kiev here. Let’s hope 2005 lives up to this promise.

UPDATE: 2005-blogger Tim Blair reports from next year: “Welcome to 2005. From my futuristic Australian vantage point, I can exclusively reveal that 2005 is very similar to 2004; except, of course, for all the hover bikes.”