Yulia Timoshenko and the Death of Ukrainian Democracy
In the winter of 2004-5, the people of Ukraine demonstrated that democracy mattered to them and they were ready to defend it. For several months, people across the country protested in every major city and refused to leave until their rights to vote and elect their representatives were respected. Thousands of Ukrainians camped out in spite of the biting frost and stuck it out until they won. The election that had been stolen by Putin’s pro-Russian puppets was declared illegal and people finally had a chance to elect their representatives.
Yulia Timoshenko was one of the leaders of the protest movement. She became a rising start of Ukrainian politics. However, her and her colleagues’ attempts to get things right in Ukraine encountered a deeply entrenched resistance both within and outside the country. In a notorious meeting with the leading businessmen of the country, Timoshenko said, “Ukraine needs strong, healthy businesses. I promise to do everything to create an environment where you can work freely, legally, and with minimal impediments. Can you promise to pay taxes and avoid corruption?”
“No!” the businessmen (every single one of whom used to be a member of the Communist Party of the USSR and a powerful apparatchik) responded in unison.
At the same time, a massive anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign was unleashed by Putin who wasn’t interested in having a functioning democracy so close geographically. Putin exploited the anxieties of the Russian-speaking Ukrainians by spreading rumors. One of such rumors was that the Ukrainian government was going to force everybody to read the Russian poet Pushkin in Ukrainian. For some reason, this idea (that had zero basis in reality, by the way) deeply traumatized people who never read any poetry at all, let alone the supremely outdated and boring Pushkin. As a result, the Russian-speakers of the country decided that it was very important to them to continue not to read Pushkin in Russian instead of not reading him in Ukrainian and voted for a pro-Putin government.
This new government started persecuting the former leaders of the democratic political movement. Among these people, Yulia Timoshenko had the highest approval ratings. She was imprisoned by the Putinoids and subjected to torture. The Putinoids are still so afraid of her that now the want to imprison her for good:
Ukraine’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is suspected of ‘ordering the murder’ of a member of parliament, the Posecutor General said. If found guilty, she will face a life sentence behind bars.
Ukraine’s State Prosecutor has completed its investigation of the murder of Deputy Evgeny Sherban, who was shot dead in 1996. Tymoshenko is alleged to have ordered the hit.
This Sherban character is from Donetsk, the seat of the most powerful organized crime organization in the country. He was killed in the 1990s, during the bandit wars. These mafia bosses were killing each other all over the place, and now the death of one of them is being used to silence the most powerful opposition voice in Ukrainian politics.
Of course, I’m not saying that Yulia Timoshenko is some sort of a saint who needs to be canonized. There are no saints in Ukrainian politics. However, while she lives, there is a hope that Ukraine will find its way out of a criminal quagmire it is in right now and start moving towards democracy.
This is why the Ukrainian government is trying to murder her.
And while the most popular female politician in Eastern Europe is being tortured, Ukrainian feminists of FEMEN are flapping their breasts around in Paris.
P.S. Thank you, Roberto Severino, for giving me the link and the idea to write this post.