Many people who follow the politics of Eastern Europe, and particularly Ukraine, are aware of the recent arrest of the former Premier of Ukraine Yulia Tymyshenko. The “Gas Princess” as she has been referred to by some may have played a game in the court room in order to upgrade her personal popularity. But really, I know the Pechersk District court where she was tried. I offered testimony there, in what seems like a century ago, in a matter of someone fleeing Ukraine during the Kuchma regime. When I arrived there, as a Westerner, I could not understand that this little shit-hole of a place was actually a court of law. Little has changed!
This in itself showed me how important the law of the land was to individuals of nation that at that time was but fifteen years old. The law of the land didn't exist and it to this day doesn't exist.
Is it a ploy? This is not the firs time Tymoshenko has been behind bars!
While many have called for the release of Tymoshenko,I began wondering why? This woman as well as the former President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko did squat in terms of what they together announced, and what seemed like honest declarations. True, once again the “rule of law” is being abused by those in power.
While Ms Tymoshenko and Mr. Yushchenko may not have gotten along, neither of them delivered on promises. Anyone who followed the speeches on the Maydan in 2004 will know that for certain.
As a good friend and journalist Vakhtang Kipiani recently noted, and while this is a loose translation the points should be considered:
“On a personal level I feel bad for Tymoshenko. And if my voice had any weight I would sign on behalf of her release... She, and before her Yushchenko, became victims of their own (future) in that they were able to live through the worlds of Putin, Lukashenko and Yanukovych but it was necessary to break the model of the oligarchs and carry out harsh and quick liberal reforms – which Shakashvili did. No one felt a bettering of life under “Yulia” or saw the possibility – therefore there is no reason to fight for her. Because she only fought for her own interests.”
Vakhtang makes a very valid point, and not as a Western observer, but as a Ukrainian.
So where does Ukraine stand right now? Those that are considered the opposition, never really gave a shit about the people. And that is clearer than a blue sky on Sunday. Had they, things would be very different in Ukraine right now.
So, what is needed. It won't be anything we are expecting. And it should not involve anyone who can be compromised. Compromise, is the modus operandi of the county, unfortunately. If someone, whoever he or she is, is going to do good for Ukraine, they have to be a “free” and independent individual without any possibility of compromise.
Some analysts have mentioned that Ms. Tymoshenko may have used the courts and her arrest to her political advantage. This may be so, however, I feel that that Ukraine needs something new, fresh and unhindered by the Soviet mentality, and ” nouveau leadership” of a country that will be turning twenty in a few weeks.
While I may not agree with the way the Yanukovych regime is using the court system to eliminate its opponents, we have to think outside of a box. A box that has been created both by democratically minded Ukrainians and their supporters beyond the borders of Ukraine.