by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph. D
In Yuliya Tymoshenko's country, Ukraine, people are not terribly divided about her case. A part of them are content she is in jail as "the Gas princess", while another part is just indifferent to what can happen to her, because they distrust and dislike politicians generally speaking. She has still supporters in Kiev, but it seems it became risky to defend her in her own country. So they are less numerous. The central problem is the following : politicians whoever they can be, are evolving in a highly conflicting and temperimental milieu in Ukraine, including amongst allies or previous allies ! And this political "volatility", usually not seen anywhere else at this level, makes it quite complex, and so then extremely difficult to follow, especially in the West or even in Russia.
Worse, for his own safety, her husband Oleksandr felt obliged to ask political asylum to the Czech Republic. And it was granted quickly on the beginning of january 2012.
It means poor Yuliya - born in 1960 -, is quite alone since her transfer from Kiev prison to her new jail,"Kharkov penal colony" (just after she lost her appeal on december 23rd 2011).
Her daughter, Evguenia, warned she was already ill in the previous jail (she couldn't get up from bed without help, suffering a strangely hard backache, not to mention throat problems). And she pointed out unacceptable conditions of detention, including the question of an omnipresent video.
Yuliya Tymoshenko, the once super pretty and energetic Prime Minister of Ukraine, and notably leader of "Fatherland Party" (founded in 1999), was arrested on august 5th 2011 in Kiev.
At the beginning, the first charges against her were "abuse of power". She was accused of that first politically, because of the rupture of "the 2009 gas deal" with Russia. But people have forgotten she saved the country from desintegration and collapse, her who was able to maintain Crimea inside the borders of her native land, Ukraine, in front of a strong Russia.
However, even Russia itself became sympathetic to her dramatic case as it asked officially, in a fair and noble gesture to be underlined, for her release and an abandon of funny charges against her. And it's really something, because she was for several years under a warrant of arrest in Russia before.
So then outside of Ukraine, she is not defended only by European Union, and moreover America and the General Secretary of UN, Ban-Ki-Moon, amongst the most influent.
The problem is Yuliya Tymoshenko has been sentenced to seven years jail (and a huge fine of 188 million $). She is now also accused of multiple other charges involving money : following that, she was even "re-arrested"... in jail on december 8th 2011, trapped into a kafkaian situation !
So her stay in jail is more indefinite now, as a political death... for Parliament in 2012, and Presidential elections in 2015.
For someone who was a leader of the "Orange Revolution" for democracy (2004), with Viktor Ioutchenko (born in 1954), who left the presidency in early 2010 as an ex-ally, it has a very bitter taste. All this story is terribly sad and pathetic. January 2012 is a real start of countdown for her life. And people anywhere in the world should really worry for her !
We, French people haven't got much connection with Ukraine (once included in the Amazon kingdom), except two exceptional occurences.
The first one is semi-legendary, because it's linked to the survival of a secret male root - "hidden for so long centuries" as quoted by the 16th century's prophet, Nostradamus -, of Alexander the Great (356 - 323 BC) and Thalestris, the last Queen of Amazons. As a matter of fact, her kingdom disappeared by 320 BC, absorbed in the Scythian one. Its main spring is the extraordinary story of Vania (Jean in French, and John in English), the little boy who was separated from his twin sister, Anya, and left in Gaul (present France) at five. The love story of Thalestris and Alexander has been recalled with less details and more mystery, by Quintus Curtius (probably Ist century AD), the great Roman historian.
And personally, we recognize in brave Yuliya Tymoshenko the qualities of a true Amazon, deserving to be treated accordingly to her rank.
The second occurence is through the wedding of Princess Anna of Kiev (c. 1024 - c. 1075) on january 29th 1044 in Reims, with the King of France, Henri I (1008 - 1060). She was the fourth daughter of Iaroslav I, Great Prince of Kiev and Prince of Novgorod, and was said to be a direct descendant of Philip II of Macedonia (c. 382 - 336 BC). Her hairstyle was similar to Yuliya Tymoshenko's fair braids (which color changed in jail). King Henri I chose Anna amongst other princesses, even he wasn't speaking her language, because she was celebrated as the most beautiful and marvelous princess of that time. Marriage was made possible because it happened just ten years before the Great Schism between Orient (Orthodox) and Occident (Catholics), about the Pope in Roma and theological reasons (1054). Her grandson, Louis VI (c. 1081 - 1137), was strongly influenced by her charismatic and fair personality : he was taught about her greatness when a little boy. He then became a "Justice protector of the Weak", and notably created beside royal grace right, a general appeal to him which stayed till nowadays through the right of appeal.
Yuliya Tymoshenko's sake concern, is putting in question the planned Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and European Union (a union of democratic countries). And it could be the same with a potential "Custom Union" with Russia (which it was however the craddle at Principauties of Kiev and Novgorod's epoch, and the following one in Moscow).
Ukraine appears like a tough country of 603 700 km2 for around 49 million inhabitants, and the biggest one in Europe after Russia, and before France.
Of course, it can still move on Yuliya Tymoshenko's topic, and become over suddenly accessible to efficient freedom negociations with tough people.
But what could save everything and help everybody, including Ukraine itself, is the use of grace right by her President, Viktor Ianoukovych (born in 1950). Even Yuliya doesn't think this way, it's not so obvious from outside he is hardly and totally against her, with his Party of Regions.
In her case, it seems on the contrary there might be an underground logic of "political family quarrel" first, dating from her neutral attitude during the Georgian-Russian short conflict of august 2008. In life, whatever the country, it is always very difficult to know who will prove to be a real friend - and not opposite -, especially in time of need.
As a matter of fact, Viktor Ianoukovych himself was said recently to appear sincerely moved by his previous opponent's very bad situation - since she lost presidential elections in front of him. And he even tried to pass a law in order to abolish an archaïc "abuse of power's" conception and incrimination, to save her. It's not a so easy gesture to make when you are officially a political major adversary : but he actually did it. And unhappily it didn't work : a Parliament composite majority rejected the text on november 15th 2011.
So then, the only possibility remains now in his hands as a strong Christian, and little miracle great man : to give pardon to Yuliya Tymoshenko, according to the article 106 - point 27 -, of the Ukrainian Constitution. It would also be a chivalresque attitude, accomplished in front of the whole world, for a suffering valuable lady, before too late.
Who can say if he is not already thinking about it, and balancing ?
We don't know if some diplomat or not, asked him precisely to use his pardon power, so we think it's better to do it.
Magnanimity, pure ingratiated consideration or affection, and christianity, are alternative keys to unlock the tough situation of Yuliya Tymoshenko, whatever your are an Orthodox or a Catholic - even this previous economist was said once not to be religious enough.
On january 7th of this new year, 2012, the Orthodox Christmas, President Ianoukovych wished peace and grace to his people in Kiev, in a message addressed to the Orthodox Patriarch during the religious celebration.
He said "Jesus is born today !" And we can add Jesus would certainly be pleased if he was granting official pardon to Yuliya Tymoshenko (something we would call "amnestying grace" in France). It could definitively make him a very noble and magnanimous great man in History, and serve as well their common patry, Ukraine !