The empire strikes back -- and Yulia's along for the ride
Newsweek has a good article on the renascent Russian empire under Putin's domination, wielding energy as his hammer, Putin is throwing his weight around Europe and there's little anyone can do.
What is most interesting to me is the following bit about Yulia Tymoshenko -- there's a reason I never trusted this ice-princess with the braids of brass -- she is a conniver and let's not forget that she was involved in many shady gas deals on her own time -- she was once known as the "gas princess" for her lucrative and shady gas trading business.
Yushchenko and democracy in Ukraine is still in danger - from enemies without and enemies within.
The Empire Strikes Back - Newsweek: International Editions - MSNBC.com
Russia's newfound assertiveness is sharply evident in Ukraine, where the Kremlin seeks to undermine the 2004 "Orange Revolution" that turned out a Moscow-friendly regime and ushered in a band of West-leaning political and economic reformers. So far, its major triumph has been to encourage Yulia Timoshenko, the celebrated "Orange Goddess," to turn against her former ally Yushchenko. Denouncing her as "anti-Russian," Moscow all but refused to recognize her appointment as Ukraine's prime minister initially, pointedly citing criminal charges pending against her (for alleged bribery of Russian Defense Ministry officials in 1996) and effectively barring her from visiting Russia even on official business. But when Yushchenko fired Timoshenko last September, she was transformed overnight from an outlaw to honored guest. Charges against her were mysteriously dropped. A visit to Moscow soon followed, where, according to former Economy minister Sergei Terekhin, she met with Putin privately. Suddenly, Timoshenko became Yushchenko's most vocal critic, accusing him of corruptly benefiting in the deal that ended the New Year's gas crisis—so far without proof. (Amid the hubbub, Kiev and Moscow last Saturday postponed signing the agreement for another week.) "We regard Yulia as our ally," says Sergei Markov, a Kremlin political consultant. "There is nothing anti-Russian about her."