On Sunday 23rd December, Yulia Tymoshenko went to Donetsk to meet the families of miners killed in the recent dreadful disaster at the Zasyadko mine. She also met the mine's management, and attended a conference dealing with consequences of the disaster.
Here's a portion of "Donbass" newspaper's report of the visit, which was her first as newly-elected prime minister:
"There was no secret surrounding the strategic aim of visit to the mine by the premier. Moving on from the parliamentary elections, Ukraine's politicians have begun to prepare for the next presidential elections. The time has come to form new unions and to fight for the sympathies of voters in the eastern regions. The visit to the Zasyad'ko mine by Tymoshenko had two aims with possible two results. The first aim was to make personal contact with the people and to make generous promises and expose the shortcomings in the handling of the disaster by previous government. The second aim was to determine the fate of Yefim Zvyagilskiy [a veteran Ukrainian politician, the mine's boss, and currently a PoR parliamentary deputy]. He would either be the victim of premier's anger - an example of the ruthlessness and fairmindedness of the new authority, or he would convince Tymoshenko of his usefulness and would become an ally - a counterweight to that part of PoR which is actively friendly with the President's secretariat.
From a political point of view, the result of the visit became clear at the meeting with the working collective. "I want to give many thanks to Yefim Leonovich [Zvyagilskiy] here in front of everyone, for what he has done for the mine," said Tymoshenko. So they have come to an understanding - a new political alliance has been created. Because Yefim Zvyagilskiy, is not a so-called "old Donetskiite", by himself. He is part of a group that includes Volodymyr Rybak, Mykola Azarov, and Viktor Yanukovych. So interesting prospects are opening up before Yulia Volodymyrivna and her new friends..."
Raisa Bohatyryova's possible appointment as secretary of the National Security and Defence Council [see previous blog] may also be a sign of shifting of political tectonic plates.
Ukrainiana has an excellent posting on Tymoshenko's visit - and also a revealing video clip of Yanukovych's bumbling response to a probing question from one of Ukraine's best and bravest investigative journalists - Tetyana Chornovil. I love the glimpse of 'kiss my ass' in Tetyana Chornovil's eyes as she's chewing gum, when Yanik confronts her in the lobby at the end of the clip.
I have previously written blogs on the investigative newspaper articles exposing the major abuse of power scandal with which she confronts Yanukovych in the video clip - I urge readers to visit this link and remind themselves just how greedy the guys at the top of the muck heap really are. [Thank goodness there are people like Tetyana Chornovil around in Ukraine - they are the ones who deserve the medals, not the Kolesnikov's and Kivalov's etc.]
The ground may just be beginning to crumble under Yanukovych's feet.
"We have no permanent friends. We have no permanent enemies. We just have permanent interests." Benjamin Disraeli [British PM in Victorian times]