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 launched...in 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...