From the new French 'Altantico' news website, [known for exclusive scoops] an op-ed piece entitled: "A strong smell of gas behind the Tymoshenko trial":
"[Yulia Tymoshenko], the former prime minister in 2009 put an end to the role of RosUkrEnergo as an intermediary in the gas sector, thus closing the valve feeding the Russian Semyon Mogilevych and the Party of Regions of President Viktor Yanukovych via Dmytro Firtash and Ivan Fursin.... The prosecutor handling the case, said on his appointment in November 2010 that his sole mission was to serve the president, and the judges have also repeatedly been praised by Viktor Yanukovych.
Europe would be wrong to take these cases lightly. Behind this case not only is the political and democratic future of a country in the immediate vicinity being played out, but also energy issues affecting European supply (Ukraine is a major transit country for Russian gas) and also important criminal issues (Semyon Mogilevich has been sought by the FBI for several years).
Diplomatic condemnations cannot be sufficient, we must now move to sanctions."
Yanukovych clearly thinks that he can 'ride out' the 'shit-storm' directed at him from western politicians and the western media, but it is difficult how. There surely will be a price to pay.
How ironic that, as 'Yulia Mostova of 'Dzerkalo Tyzhnya' in a brilliant article points out, opinion polls reveal that although Yanukovych is still running ahead of Tymoshenko [by 56% against 44%], against any other candidate, in a straight head-to-head run-off, Yanukovych would lose by a similar margin.
In other words, by eliminating Tymoshenko from any contest he may well be sealing his own fate...