Tymoshenko Faces Prison

Luke Harding (the former Russia correspondent whose visa renewal was denied earlier this year, almost certainly due to his journalistic activities) writes in The Guardian on the dramatic Tymoshenko verdict and sentencing which passed today.  Tymoshenko will go to jail for seven years for her role in brokering the 2009 gas deal between Naftogaz Ukrainy and Russia’s Gazprom, which you may recall followed hot on the heels of a period of scare tactic gas cut-offs by Russia in late 2008.

In Harding’s view, the verdict is a nail in the coffin for Ukraine’s hopes of independence.

The decision by a Kiev court today to jail Tymoshenko for seven years for abuse of office over a controversial 2009 gas deal with Russia is an unambiguous signal. It says that Yanukovych does not really care what the EU thinks about him.  It also confirms what Yanukovych’s critics have been saying for some time – that under his leadership the country is sliding towards Russian-style “managed democracy” and autocratic rule.

Read the piece here.