On December 18th, PM Tymoshenko demanded the immediate resignation of Head of National Bank of Ukraine Volodymyr Stelmakh. A day later, on television, she accused president Yushchenko, Stelmakh and head of the president's Secretariat Viktor Baloha of illegal speculative operations via the Nadra bank, in which they could have 'raked off' over 4.5Bn hryven.
Now the first President of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, has sprung to her defence. He claims that her casting the spotlight on allegedly corrupt shennanigans in the NBU, and the subsequent creation of a parliamentary investigative commission, have cooled the speculative flare-up and are helping to increase the value and stabilize the national currency at more realistic levels.
According to Kravchuk, the turbulence in the currency market has bred huge discontent amongst ordinary people and may even be generating a pre-revolutionary situation, "and the people who are responsible for the stability of the national currency, for fighting economic crime, for guaranteeing the rights of citizens – they are [all] closing their eyes to blatantly criminal schemes taking place in the currency market," said Kravchuk.
"It is very good that a person from the higher eschelons of power has been found that has dared to call matters by their proper names, and has appealed to the people, because there was no other option," he added.
President Yushchenko responded to Tymoshenko's accusations: "Today the problem is not my relationship with this lady [ledi]. She has announced her opposition to the nation, to the state." ...[That's no lady Viktor Andriyovych, that's the prime minister]
On Monday, newly-elected VR speaker and wily old fixer Volodymyr Lytvyn is to meet both Yushchenko and Tymoshenko to consult on this week's parliamentary debates on tackling the economic crisis. And in an interview in the current 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya' he suggests that if proposed, the experienced duo Vitaliy Hayduk and Serhiy Tyhipko would be broadly supported in the VR and they could soon return to the cabinet to help sort out the current economic mess.