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If You’re Not for Yushchenko, You Are for Russia?

It seems like a pretty desperate move for Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko to attack his one-time Orange Revolution ally Yulia Tymoshenko as being just as much of a Russia puppet as Viktor Yanukovich.  It’s not only inaccurate – though Tymoshenko has drifted toward the conclusion that pragmatic cooperation with Russia is political fact of life for Ukraine – but it’s also dangerous, in that these attacks deprive the real concerns about issues sovereignty, democracy, and Moscow’s ambitions in the region.  If you aren’t for Yushchenko, you must be stumping for the Kremlin, goes the logic.  This kind of opportunism is exactly what the pro-authoritarian crowd requires to be able to dismiss their critics.  From Reuters:

But he went on the offensive on Sunday, accusing Yanukovich and Tymoshenko, once his ally and now a fierce rival, of being part of the same “Moscow plot.”

“Tymoshenko and Yanukovich are the finest representatives of a single Kremlin coalition,” local news agencies quoted him telling voters in the Lviv region of western Ukraine.

Addressing the prospect of the two becoming a tandem in power after a February 7 decisive vote, Yushchenko said:

“Irrespective of whether he is prime minister or she is president, or vice versa, the language will be one and the same.”