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You're reading: The mega-stupidity of imprisoning ex-top cop Lutsenko

She almost beat him in the last presidential election, and she would almost certainly have crushed him in the next one.

Worse, as a self-confident woman, she undermined his desperately fragile male ego.

To be sure, jailing her also subverted Ukraine’s chances of moving toward Europe and exposed it to Russia’s predations—strategic considerations that most leaders would have acknowledged as trumping the frailty of their personalities—but at least her imprisonment served some of Yanukovych’s immediate interests.

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