Tymoshenko verdict reveals thuggish behavior

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Oct. 12, 2011, 11:50 a.m. | Op-ed — by Askold S. Lozynskyj

Ukrainian riot police officers block supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko outside the Pecherskiy District Court in Kyiv on Oct. 11.
© AP

The conviction and sentencing of Yulia Tymoshenko represents Viktor Yanukovych’s Rubicon. Despite both strong admonishment and gentle prodding from the international community, Yanukovych arrogantly flaunted his power and did the wrong thing. True, he said he would during his independence speech. Still hope remained eternal at least until the verdict. The judge who rendered the verdict and passed sentence was merely an agent, and primitive at that. There was no “prima facie” criminality on Tymoshenko’s part. The criminal complaint itself was defective in that regard so the judge took it upon himself to prove abuse of power by then Prime Minister Tymoshenko which resulted in financial damage to the Ukrainian state from the 2009 gas accord between Ukraine and Russia.

The financial facts belie the verdict. True the price of gas increased but the quota decreased dramatically and the corrupt intermediary was cut off. Ukraine lessened its dependency on Russian gas, substantially lowering the mandatory purchase quota and thus decreased its gas expense. This financial benefit was reported by Ernst & Young. The judge ignored the expert conclusion and disingenuously attributed the lesser expenses to energy conservation.

The facts of the criminal case in any event were irrelevant to the verdict. This was a political exercise by Yanukovych to rid himself of political opposition. But now that Yanukovych has revealed his hand entirely there should be consequences. Refusing to heed the international community, Yanukovych must be deemed a pariah.

The Ukrainian diaspora can and should play a prominent role in this regard utilizing many and varied approaches. Anti-Yanukovych demonstrations, letters to international institutions as well as governments have been going on for some time. Some are exhausting all possible avenues by engaging the regime in a dialogue while criticizing its activities. Others have been more critical organizing demonstrations, yet continuing to engage representatives of the regime in worthwhile pro-Ukrainian exercises, jointly sponsoring independence activities, inviting representatives to meaningful events. Still others have taken a position of a total boycott of this criminal regime. Because the diaspora is pluralistic all approaches are considered acceptable and more or less effective. But now engagement seems futile.

Full pressure on Yanukovych seems to me the most effective option since that is the only language he understands. This approach has to include addressing all aspects of the political spectrum including but not limited to withholding ratification of association with the European Union, reconsidering Ukraine chairing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2013 and so on.

Additionally, Yanukovych’s representatives have to be compelled to take sides. Government personnel and even diplomats need to search their conscience. Honorary consulsof Ukraine should be the first to condemn the Tymoshenko verdict. Ministers, legislators, ambassadors, consul generals, consuls even first, second and third secretaries should do likewise. Otherwise they should be shunned.

Pressure should not be limited to withholding contact with the Ukrainian diaspora community. Non-Ukrainian political leaders from both executive and legislative branches, business leaders and investors should be urged to shun those who stand in support of Yanukovich or are deemed to do so by their silence. Naturally, principles will often give way to opportunism. Nevertheless, the effort must continue.

It is important to note that in anticipation of the verdict Yanukovych and his agents have performed a great deal of preparatory work. The local elections of last year in Ukraine enabled him to form a network of lackeys throughout the country. Recently, the convocation of the Diaspora at the V Forum was a partially successful implementation by Yanukovych to influence and control the diaspora, i.e. the V Forum passed a resolution demanding the immediate release of Tymoshenko, former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko and other opposition leaders. Yet Yanukovych’s agents at the Forum, Pavlo Movchan who chaired the resolutions commission, and, yes, Mykhaylo Ratushny, the current head of the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council unabashedly managed to delete the reference and then published the sanitized version on the UWCC website.

So the task is difficult, but at least the goal should be much clearer now that Yanukovych has exhausted every possible chance at rehabilitation and eliminated any doubt about his intentions. Even those insisting on dialogue will have to take stock of their own efficacy. It is no longer enough to talk of changing Yanukovych’s policies, dismissing Minister of Education Dmytro Tabachnyk or recognizing that the Holodomor was a genocide of the Ukrainian people.

The simple solution is that Yanukovych must be unseated, impeached, forced to resign or call a new presidential election imminently. The methods must in all respects remain democratic, including civil disobedience, a renewed Ukrainian revolution with the support of the global community. There is no other way. Ukrainians have some experience in fighting commissars, who more often than not, were simply thugs. This president is no more than that.

Askold S. Lozynskyj was executive vice president from 1990-1992 and president from 1992-2000 of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.
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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 11:59 a.m.    

This diatribe places excessive blame on the president, who in fact was not part of the judicial process and appears to be ready to do whatever he can to overturn the conviction. By insulting a democratically elected president in unnecessarily crude terms, Mr Lozinsky is in fact insulting the millions of Ukrainians who put Mr Yanukovych in office.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 3:41 p.m.    

Yanukovych has seized control of the courts, police and press. He is a dictator. He directed the verdict.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 3:17 p.m.    

The millions of Ukrainians who put the brain-dead village idiot sovok fat-ass mafioso in power should feel insulted.

Yanustalin and his sovok mafia have showed very clearly that they are willling to implement stalinism, to violate fundamental human and legal rights, to twist and pervert the law to their own ends --- while at the same time LYING through their teeth that they want to &quot;join Europe.&quot;

As it is, village idiot Yanustalin is robbing Ukraine blind, together with his sovok mafia, and beating Ukrainians over the head with Berkut and other para-military &quot;police.&quot;

спасибо жителям донбасса

за президента пидирасса

Ahhhhhhh - stabilnist.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 6:32 p.m.    

Insults are a way of life for thugs! and those who voted for criminal Yanukonvict are brainwashed scums from eastern Ukraine! They're not offended by insults.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 12:26 p.m.    

Never have seen such a nonsense like this article.

Obviously the result of a certain beverage.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 3:34 p.m.    

If this be the level of your insight and you reflect the standard of Ukraine; it is easy to understand how Yanu was elected and the current problems of your country.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 6:37 p.m.    

I think you've had a certain beverage. Thats why you can't see the truth!

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 12:50 p.m.    

100% agree. Yanukovych imprisons his opponents and continues to rob the nation blind. Enakievski, Akhmetov, are making mega billions and increasing their net worth monthly. Just look at aerial footage of yanus resort estate- all stolen. This is all outrageous. Yanukovych must go that simple. He will not get any better only worse.

As for those who for a second think that this court was remotely independent from the whim of Yanukovych, they are either very stupid or simply not sincere. I trust the latter.

Tymoshenko is no saint, but this is simply ridiculous, Yanu will not stop until he is ousted

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 2:53 p.m.    

let's not forget Yanu won the presidency by 0.3%. Hardly a mandate to govern the way he has been governing. Now it is up to Ukrainians to decide whether or not they want this idiot and his thugs to still represent them.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 3:30 p.m.    

Government personnel and even diplomats need to search their conscience.

Read more:

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 3:32 p.m.    

Yet Yanukovych’s agents at the Forum, Pavlo Movchan who chaired the resolutions commission, and, yes, Mykhaylo Ratushny, the current head of the Ukrainian World Coordinating Council unabashedly managed to delete the reference and then published the sanitized version on the UWCC website.

Read more:

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 5:27 p.m.    

It is time for everyone to take a stand. You are either pro Ukraine or anti Ukraine. Yanukovych and his administration have showed a total disregard for Ukrainian's citizens rights and freedoms. With the Tymoshenko conviction his mask is totally off. He is naked to the world and is revealed as a gluttonous, brainless pig. Ukraine deserves better than a half witted maniac.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 12:29 a.m.    

The government of Ukraine has been anti-Ukrainian for over a year and a half.

Last century Ukrainians were murdered because Ukrainians were called &quot;the enemy of the people&quot;.

Today, most the government of Ukraine is not only the enemy of the opposition - the government of Ukraine is &quot;the enemy of the people&quot;.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 6:41 p.m.    

It's the only option left!

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 7:22 p.m.    

True, only way to restore the image of Ukraine.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 12:18 a.m.    

If Yanukovych dies, then Lytvyn becomes president.


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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 6:46 p.m.    

Julia Tymoschenko needs Dr. Ulrich Busch to win at the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, France.

He has experience there and has won against the Federal Republic of Germany for his client.

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Anonymous Oct. 12, 2011, 9:46 p.m.    

What is she innocent of? She deserves being in prison a million times as well as all the present and former members of all the governments and chambers since 1991. Simply look at the country: What are all of them innocent of?

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 2:01 a.m.    

Yanuconvict knows he would lose the next election. His only option is to make sure Yulia cannot contest it. Thus he has used Ukraines mercenary law system to lock up Yulia. FACT!

Yanuconvict is a thug, a stupid uneducated peasant thug. Rinat Ahmetov is the puppet master. Also a cheap nasty bandit who has bought and paid for the POR to rule.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 5:34 p.m.    

Why would he lose, the election is not until 2015 plenty of time for economy to get moving in positive direction.The opposition has been all over the map on issues during past 20 years what do they have to offer.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 11:09 a.m.    

In principal, I dislike comments that incite any kind of civil unrest, bordering on revolution. The Post should be careful in publishing such articles in case local 'authorities' misconstrue' and use them as an excuse for interference. Some gentle editing might be appropriate.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 4:01 p.m.    

Save the censorship and gentle editing for the party of regions goons- their excuse for interference has led to censorship of the press, shutdown of tv stations,beating up,imprisoning,and killing journalists, and beating hundreds of people on the street everyday.

Wake up man - there are over 100 political prisoners that are known in this mafia oligarch russian dictatorship.

You should not criticize free speech, you should criticize the yanuconvict regime.

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Anonymous Oct. 13, 2011, 7:21 p.m.    

In principal, I dislike comments by someone who crawled out from under a rock.


Yanuk and his thugs do whatever they want with YOUR COUNTRY.....Ukraine is yours, it belongs to the people, and he is stealing it. He operates as if Ukraine, YOUR COUNTRY, is his own personal kingdom ( do you have a $300 million house, paid for by the citizens of Ukraine ? ).......

He is a pathological liar,,,,&quot;Ukraine has freedoms, I will stop corruption, I will make things better for middle class, people love me ! ........&quot;

How much more blatant does this dictator have to do to show his disregard for the Constitution..........

And you suggest , comments should not incite civil unrest !!!

I say.......








A leader of a nation, is someone who cares more about it's citizens, and does what ever he can to make life better for them ; and to improve the country,,,for the good of everyone.

Ask yourself......Does this describe Yanukovych???


Only a revolution (which has different meanings) can accomplish this.

You decide.

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