December 16, 2010

The Yanukovych Administration Unleashes a Full-Blown Political Terror

Ukraine's Office of General Prosecutor launched investigation against Mrs. Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister (BYuT), on embezzlement charges. Kyivpost writes that "Tymoshenko said after questioning Wednesday that the probe centres around her alleged misspending of $280 million (€200 million) received for the sale of carbon credits under the Kyoto protocol". Since the prosecution considers her flight risk, she cannot travel overseas.
Her political party, BYuT, has already reacted to a new twist in the series of political prosecutions by blocking the Parliament and fighting with the Regionals (Party of Regions) there. Mrs. Tymoshenko says that President Yanykovych controls her investigation. It seems to be true that the Office of General Prosecutor receives orders from the Yanukovych administration. Many allies of Mrs. Tymoshenko are arrested or under investigation. Her former deputy and closest political ally, Oleksandr Turchinov, is under investigation. The General Prosecutor issued the arrest warrant for Bohdan Danylyshyn who was Minister of Economy in the Tymoshenko government. Mr. Lutsenko, the former Minister of Interior, is under the investigation on embezzlementt charges too. Mr. Lutshenko allegedly raised a salary of his personal driver by rigging the payroll system.
 Mrs. Tymoshenko's allies find themselves in a circle of fire. The political terror becomes a mundane part of Ukraine's reality with a full-blown prosecution of anyone affiliated with the political opposition. The Yanukovych administration does not spare anyone. It does not matter whether it is a president of the Donetsk university opposing a real estate development on the public property of his school or it is a group of Kharkiv residents opposing a real estate development of the public park. The Yanukovych administration is drunk with the power. The recent political prosecutions have already topped the "achievements" of the Kuchma administration. Shall we witness a revival of the seemingly forgotten year of 1937 from the Soviet history? It is simply unacceptable. I do not understand why the rest of the world does not react to the political terror in Ukraine. 
The Yanukovych administration, however, gambles with the Tymoshenko case. It is not the first time that Mrs. Tymoshenko is under investigation. The Kuchma administration went even further by throwing her in the jail. But the political prosecution made Mrs. Tymoshenko the victim of the political terror in the eyes of Ukrainian voters. As a result, she lead the Orange Revolution and rose to the power. If the charges do not stick again, the Yanukovych administration can step in the same river twice.   

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