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    What will L.Kuchma's fate be under the Yushchenko presidency?
    Same as Ceausescu
    Exile in Russia or elsewhere
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    Pardoned by Yushchenko
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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, February 24, 2012, 9:00 AM ET


    Will Ukraine have Its First Modern Political Martyr?
    By Bishop Paul Peter Jesep

    In January 2012, I asked a very provocative question in an Open Letter to Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych: What if Yulia Tymoshenko dies while in prison? The international media continues to report that she is in declining health. Reasons include abuse, substandard care, and intentionally withholding proper medical assistance. Viktor Fedorovych may think hes handled the matter with cunning, but in reality its a circus with him driving a little car wearing a clowns outfit.

    Although some may have Yulia fatigue because of the constant attention given to the former prime minister, there is something far worse Viktor Fedorovych Circus Fatigue. His stewardship of the country is baffling. Its been a three ring circus with his decision to keep Ms. Tymoshenko in the center ring of intentional attention.

    Meanwhile the left ring features exorbitant natural gas prices from Muscovy. Lets not forget that Viktor Fedorovych allegedly cut a sweet heart deal for low gas prices in exchange for letting the Russian Black Sea Fleet remain in the Crimea. Yet he blames Ms. Tymoshenko for Ukraines predicament. In the other ring are ongoing efforts to consolidate power, stifle free press, and lay the foundations to rig the upcoming parliamentary elections.

    Putin the Muscovite, plotting his own staged election, has the dubious distinction of being the ring master in the Yanukovych circus. On reflection, its probably not fair to liken Viktor Fedorovych to a circus clown. After all clowns have more polish, common sense, and much better timing.

    Ms. Tymoshenkos shadow has haunted the entire Yanukovych presidency. It will continue to do so until hes defeated in the next presidential election. If he rigs it a la Belarus or Muscovy then he should expect more of the same. Ukraine may have Yulia fatigue, but the world doesnt. More important those in Ukraine with Yulia fatigue and who just want to move on should think twice. This is much bigger than one person. Ms. Tymoshenko may be the public face, but beneath the surface are issues like free press, fair elections, and an impartial justice system.

    Regardless of what you think of Ms. Tymoshenko shes is now a larger than life figure. If she dies while in prison due to Yanukovichs earlier show trial shell become a heroine of mythical proportions. This is the stuff of Hollywood movies and Broadway musicals. Think Eva Peron. Evita!

    Whatever flaws, political indiscretions, and misuses of power or money that occurred under Eva Perons watch, the former First Lady of Argentina still casts a very long shadow over the country more than a half century later. She is remembered as a charismatic, no-nonsense fighter for the people. Is it myth? Perhaps. But this is why theyre called myths and people come to idealize such figures. They are symbols of something bigger, better, and brighter than the social and political malaise of the era.

    One of the most remembered songs from the movie with Madonna and the Broadway musical that starred Patti LuPone is Dont Cry for Me Argentina. Ms. Tymoshenko knowing full well that she wasnt going to get a fair trial refused to seek political asylum in another country. She pledged undying love to Ukraine, its People, and to God. Ms. Tymoshenko refused to abandon the nation as it slid into political decay. She now urges opposition parties to put aside differences and unite against the growing tide of authoritarianism.

    Hopefully, Ms. Tymoshenko will receive proper medical coverage, make a full recovery, and be released from prison where she never belonged. Lets all pray this happens. Sadly, however, there seems no limit to Viktor Fedorovychs stubbornness.

    It reminds me of an angel of the Lord who visited Volodymyr the farmer. God is pleased with you, the angel told him. God wishes to reward you for your faith, honesty, and hard work. The angel added, You may have anything you want, but only on one condition. Your worst enemy will have it doubled. So, if you want a mansion, he or she gets two. If you want a hundred cows, he or she gets two hundred.

    Volodymyr scratched his beard. He stood looking reflectively into the sky toward God. He then pulled gently on his gray beard to help him think. Anything? I can have anything? Volodymyr asked, looking at the angel. Yes, the angel said. You can have anything. Just remember your enemy gets twice as much.

    The farmer smiled. I wish to be blind in one eye.

    Viktor Fedorovych has already missed several opportunities to save face and appear statesman-like. The longer it takes him the harder it will become. Part of the 2012 World Soccer Championship will be held in Ukraine. God help Viktor Fedorovych if Ms. Tymoshenkos health takes a turn for the worst and she dies in prison during the games. Ukraine will have its first modern political martyr who will be a personality larger in death than life. If you havent signed the online petition "Free Yulia!" please add your name to it.

    Paul Peter Jesep is a New York lawyer and bishop in the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC). He started the online petition "Free Yulia!" In addition, Metropolitan Myfodii UAOC-Kyiv Patriarchate appointed him spokesperson and government relations liaison for the Church in the United States. The views expressed here are personal and in no way reflect those of the UAOC. He may be reached at VladykaPaulPeter(at)

    * * * * *


  • Apr 22 12 - Op-ed: Aiding and Abetting the Moscow Patriarchate
  • Mar 23 12 - Friends of Ukraine Take Action
  • Feb 24 12 - Will Ukraine have Its First Modern Political Martyr?
  • Jan 23 12 - Holocaust Remembrance Day
  • Dec 30 11 - Ukrainian World – Praise for Major Archbishop Shevchuk
  • Dec 21 11 - Lessons from Muscovy
  • Aug 10 11 - Russian Truth
  • Apr 14 11 - President Yanukovych's Chance to Show Leadership
  • Mar 14 11 - An Open Letter to Viktor Yanukovych
  • Aug 27 10 - Independent Ukraine 2010
  • Jan 31 10 - Remembering Ukraine's Jews
  • Jan 15 10 - Orange Forever!
  • Aug 27 09 - UAOC Mourns the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy
  • Jan 14 08 - UAOC Bishop Condemns United Fatherland and Union of Orthodox Citizens
  • Oct 25 07 - Bishop calls for Annual Holocaust Memorial Day
  • May 28 07 - Priests try to end anti-Semitism
  • Feb 12 07 - Statement on Anti-Semitism
  • Feb 5 07 - Kyiv Patriarchate Appoints U.S. Director of Public Affairs
  • Nov 23 05 - Archbishop Husar's Orange Revolution of Faith
  • Sep 12 05 - Yushchenko showed leadership
  • Sep 7 05 - Metropolitan Mefodiy of Kyiv to visit America
  • Sep 2 05 - UAOC issues strong condemnation of anti-semitism
  • Apr 28 05 - Yushchenko at the Kennedy Library
  • Apr 1 05 - Diaspora rebirth begins in dialogue
  • Mar 11 05 - The Politics of Orthodoxy
  • Feb 11 05 - The Diaspora's Future
  • Jan 21 05 - Ukraine, Orthodoxy, and the Greek Prelate
  • Dec 22 04 - Has the Diaspora failed? Can more be done?
  • Dec 22 04 - Russia will not leave Ukraine alone
  • Dec 14 04 - God, Faith and the Orange Revolution
  • Dec 8 04 - Ukraine must run the extra mile
  • Dec 1 04 - Cage the Russian Circus Bear
  • Nov 24 04 - Support liberty - Practical things you can do
  • Nov 22 04 - Ukraine's Election - NOW WHAT?
  • Oct 11 04 - Catholic Patriarchate in Kyiv
  • Sep 29 04 - Kuchma and the American presidential election
  • Aug 13 04 - Op-ed: Foreign churches cannot dictate a unilateral non-Ukrainian spirituality in Ukraine (Patriarch Filaret and Ukrainian Spirituality)
  • Jul 26 04 - Op-ed: Viktor Yushchenko and Ukraine's future (Ukraine needs a patriot as its next leader)
  • Mar 18 04 - Ukrainian influence in the 2004 American presidential election

    Email: VladykaPaulPeter(at)

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  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


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