April 16, 2007

Yulia Warns Putin: Hands Off Ukraine

In the midst of the turmoil caused by the collapse of the Ukraine government, one of the firebrands of Ukrainian independence has a message for Moscow: hands off. Yulia Tymoshenko, the woman whose physical attraction and passion for self-determination made her the toast of free peoples everywhere two years ago, appears ready to re-align her party with that of Viktor Yushchenko in order to defeat the pro-Russian forces of former president Viktor Yanukovich, but this time she'll be in charge:

Ukraine's opposition leader has vowed to end Russia's influence over her country once and for all.

Yulia Tymoshenko may soon be able to act on her promise if she becomes prime minister once more after elections scheduled for next month.

Mrs Tymoshenko, named the world's third most powerful woman by Forbes magazine, is perhaps the one politician to have emerged stronger from Ukraine's latest political crisis, sparked by a presidential order to dissolve parliament earlier this month. The Kremlin will be quivering at the prospect of Mrs Tymoshenko being granted a fresh mandate.

I'm not sure if "quiver" is the right word, but Vladimir Putin will not be happy with this turn of events. He has worked with Yanukovich to re-establish Russian influence in Ukraine. Putin undermined Ukraine's economy with sharp increases in energy prices, the cost of Yushchenko's election and pro-Western policies. Yanukovich, whose fraudulent election in December 2004 touched off the Orange Revolution, had forced his way back to the position of Prime Minister under Yushchenko when Yanukovich rallied the pro-Russian eastern provinces to his side.

Putin's work looks about to come undone. The Orange coalition split badly two years ago, when Tymoshenko and Yushchenko parted acrimoniously over policy. If the two put the coalition back together again, they have enough power to force Yanukovich back into a weak opposition position, out of power and unable to stop the reformers. Tymoshenko this time will insist on having real power and the ability to force Ukraine even further out of the Russian orbit, and this time Yushchenko will not be able to stop her.

She also has to fight the clan structure of Ukraine's political scene. Ukraine has long been run by clans, and those clans have a great deal of sympathy for Russia. Tymoshenko calls Yanukovich a "double marionette," run by the Kremlin and by the clans, and called his Party of the Regions a "vast corporation" that runs Ukraine as a subsidiary. She has it mostly correct, and it will make it difficult for her to prevail against Yanukovich -- as Yushchenko found out. They're still pulling strings; if Yulia can cut them, she could bring Ukraine into Europe and isolate the autocracy of Vladimir Putin even further.

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Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters: In the midst of the turmoil caused by the collapse of the Ukraine government, one of the firebrands of Ukrainian independence has a message for Moscow: hands off. Yulia Tymoshenko, the woman whose physical attrac... [Read More]

Comments (2)

Posted by patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 7:07 AM

if she becomes a real threat she will be executed........

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 16, 2007 3:28 PM

Exactly patrick, this lady is breathing her last as we type. She might as well be running for city council from Cicero on a reform ticket in Chicago against Al Capone. Watch what you eat, madame!