This post was scheduled for Tuesday 11th October. On this day, both Ukraine and Eastern European democracy faced a challenge and a now monumental decision. On this day Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister was jailed for seven years in prison on charges based around an 'alleged abuse of power.' While I may not be a politician so therefore not the best person to comment on such a trial, I do firmly believe she is innocent. By signing this gas deal with Russia that is alleged to cost the Ukrainian economy millions, she saved Ukraine's face in front of Europe and put the gas back on for Eastern and Central Europe and some of southern Europe, most of whom's gas is dependant on Russia and the gas transmissions through Ukraine. Tymoshenko led the pro-western orientated democratic revolution of Ukraine that culminated in mass street protests from late 2004 to early 2005 that later became known as the 'orange team' and was a crucial (and arguably the most charismatic) part of the so called 'orange team.' My belief in the 'Orange Team' of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko soon vanished but my belief in Tymoshenko didn't. Of course she had some corruption but which politician doesn't. Let's think of the recent scandal surrounding Liam Fox, former defence secretary. Even a politician 'renowned' in the west for 'his corruption' Russian premier Vladimir Putin proclaimed he didn't understand the sentence. Tymoshenko has had an unforgivable past as an oligarch robbing Ukraine during the 90's crisis but I truly believe she has reformed. I can't help but think there is a whole Mikhail Khodorkovsky vibe surrounding these events. Because of this sentencing Ukraine has been rejected by the international community: The EU, USA, UN and even Russia has condemned the verdict. I lived through Ukraine during the Orange Revolution and while the revolution failed I lived in a country that was prosperous and full of life, hope and excitement for the future. The revolution failed and since this sentencing now has Ukraine. Tymoshenko is a bit like marmite; you either love her or hate her but their is no denying that until she is freed, Ukraine will continue to be alienated on not only diplomatic terms but on human right terms also. The freedom millions felt when Tymoshenko co-orchestrated the Orange Revolution was took away with this trial, just a swiftly as the oligarchs took away the freedom in the 90's, those that brought Tymoshenko to the political forefront.Sorry for being so so word heavy but I felt it had to be said. For the record I am not necessarily a Tymoshenko supporter but I am certainly not a supporter of incumbent Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych.
Yulia Tymoshenko - One of the most, if not the most, sensual politician to emerge from the former Eastern bloc, whether she is a villain or a hero.