KIEV, Ukraine, Aug. 15 (UPI) — It’s only a matter of time before the government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych falls like other authoritarian regimes, Yulia Tymoshenko writes.
Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and opposition leader, is jailed in Kiev during her trial on corruption charges stemming from a 2009 gas deal with Russian energy company Gazprom. Her deal helped restore natural gas shipments through Ukraine, though the government under Yanukovych blames the deal for major economic losses.
Tymoshenko in written statements to The Independent newspaper in London said the Yanukovych government will face the same fate as other authoritarian regimes.
“History has shown us that authoritarian regimes do not endure and I believe that the values of the Orange Revolution are as relevant today as they were in December 2004,” she wrote from prison. “Sooner or later the oppressed people of this nation will arise.”
Serhiy Vlasenko, one of her lawyers who is banned from the trial, said the judge in the case in Kiev is making a mockery of justice.
“The judge has created chaos and within that chaos we don’t know what he’s going to do next,” he was quoted as saying. “One thing that seems certain is that the verdict has been pre-decided from above.”
Tymoshenko helped usher in the Orange Revolution that overturned a power-grab by Yanukovych. She, along with U.S. and European leaders, claim the trial against her is politically motivated.
“It must seem strange to everyone that if I am convicted on trumped-up charges, I will be banned for standing for election, but Viktor Yanukovych, a twice-convicted violent felon, was and remains able to run for election,” she wrote.