On Sept. 9, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to President Viktor Yanukovych.

It reportedly doesn’t mince words in telling the Ukrainian leader to end the politically motivated criminal prosecution of his rival, ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, over the 2009 natural gas deal with Russia. The tone, we are told, is drop the charges or else – with Yanukovych left to wonder what the “or else” might mean from the West.

On Sept. 12, Judge Rodion Kireyev announced a two-week pause in the Tymoshenko trial, until Sept. 27. One of the justifications for the break provides yet more evidence (as if any more is needed) that politicians run the courts in Ukraine.

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