Friday, April 27, 2012

Who is winning the information war - Tymoshenko or the Ukrainian authorities?

The authorities wanted to show they were acting humanely by offering to treat jailed former PM Yulia Tymoshenko's ruptured spinal disc in a deluxe medical facility. They needed her to be in reasonable shape for the upcoming UESU trial in Kharkiv.

She was having none of this and was, allegedly, taken by force to the clinic last weekend..maybe assaulted. She declared she is on hunger strike in protest. All this has resulted in an huge stink in Europe.

A counter attack was quickly the form of a not absolutely convincing video broadcast nationwide showing a Tymoshenko-like figure, reasonably active, making her prison bed, and horror of horrors snogging her defence council..

She may or may not have bruises, depending on who you listen to, and members of her alleged assailants' families may have received threatening anonymous 'phone calls. She may or may not have had cat-fights with her cell mate, whose location is now unknown.

Will any of this nonsense make any difference? Will electors switch allegiance, or will floating voters be convinced one way or the other, probably not.

Nevertheless, Tymoshenko and her advisers still seem to be making the running...dictating events, her's is the name running prominently through the world's press. She has nothing to lose, and all Yanukovych and his 'banda' can do is respond, always from a weaker position.

Even smarty-pants first vice premier Valeriy Khoroshkovsky has had to explain he was misunderstood/mistranslated when he allegedly suggested to Europeans: 'sign the Association Agreements and we'll let her go'...

Once credibility has been undermined, it is most difficult to rebuild; blunders by the authorities will continue.

What will the next episode bring? Tymoshenko in a wheelchair in the court dock, or will the trial be postponed? Midnight flight to Berlin? Or more grainy videos? One thing is for sure...she will not go quietly and there is much more to come in this grotesquely fascinating soap opera..

p.s. All rather quiet now on the Scherban murder accusations...


Anonymous said...

There was an article published today in Kyivpost that claimed that the authorities had said they would release Tymoshenko if they sign the Association agreement. This lends truth to the theory that Tymoshenko and Lutsenko was being held as a political prisoner as a means of blackmail and a way of extracting revenge.

Anonymous said...

An excellent post nd summary of events. events which have their foundations laid long before Tymoshenko's, jailing. Tymoshenko's. Recibility was destroyed long ago . and whilst reports in the western media are borrow in their focus the fact remains that Ukrainians do not trust her, which is why they have not come out in thtie thousands to protest her miss treatment.

There noI doubt in my mind that her Imprisonment is politically motivated.

Tymoshenko's persecution that lead to her Imprisonment was initiated by Victor Yushchenko back in 2009. Yushchenko is noted for his comments supporting her persecution and his failure to come out and defend her interests,

It is difficult to fathom why Yanukovych and his supportes including Yushchenko and members of Our Ukraine have pursued this path of confrontation. It clearly has not assisted him in winning any support.

Had Yanukovych not acted Yushchenko's Initiative Tymoshenko would have been marginalized and discredited.

Recent statements of boycott of the Yata Conference and the Ukrainian leg of the Euro2012 games are welcomed and long overdue. They should have acted back in 2007 when Yushchenko undermined confidence in the democratic process by illegally and unconstitutionally dismissing Ukraine's previous parliament. To a large extent the fallout of the events of 2007 are being played out today. Europe should have spoken up then as it has only just began.

Where to from here? There must be a plan that sees Ukraine beyond the events surrounding Tymoshchenkos imprisonment. There must be a policy of reform, Refrom to Uraines's constitution, it's judiciary and it's system of government.

Removal of presidential power and the adoption of a European model of parliamentary democracy must be put back on the agenda if there is to be any real chance for meaningful reform in the long term. Ukraine must take collective responsibility for its governance and not rely on the good will of one individual.

if Ukraine want to be a member state of the EU it must remove presidential power and adopt European models of governance.

You can not have two opposing codes of football playing on the same field at the same time.

Anonymous said...

The fact is no one trusts Tymoshenko anymore. Yes she is a victim of political persecution but Ukraine has turned off from her message. They have heard it all before. Tymoshenko has cried wolf way to many times. This is the main reason the country is not up in arms and protesting on the streets. Her credibility is at an all time low.

Sadly the opposition have lost the battle. They abandoned democratic values when they failed to embrace democratic constitutional reform and the adoption of European models of governance. In short they have no policies of substance or commitment to democracy.

The achivements of the Orange revolution were opposed by Yushchenko and forsaken by the coalition partners following Yushchenko and Our Ukraine's betrayal.

It is often left out, but Tymoshenko's persecution was initiated by Yushchenko in his last year of office. Yushchenko has not defended her in fact he has issued statements of condemnation supporting her arrest. This fact is often over looked by those seeking to gain some political advantage over her arrest.

Anonymous said...

The October pRliamentary election is Lready lost. ven if the opposition manage to win a majority of seats (unlikely) it would be a slim majority. The fact is the Governmnet is appointed by the president. he president holds all the trump cards. if the parliament proves to be dysfunctional Yanukovych will bide some time and call a fresh parliamentary election. Under Ukraines's presidential system the president wields power not the parliament. There is. No checks and balances in te system. This is a major flaw of the presidential system.

Ukrine will never be a free democratic independent state as long as it is beholden to presidential authority.

The Parliamentary Assemble of the Council of Europe and the Venice commission have nth recommended in te last that Ukraine don't a full Parliamentray system of government. if Kraine wants to be a part of Europe then it should look to Europe and adopt Eurpoan models of governance.

The soviet/US presidential system has and will continue to fail Uraine.