Yulia Tymoshenko is a Ukrainian politician who wants her country to join the EU and establish democratic structures in Ukraine. Since August 5, 2011 she has been imprisoned in Kharkov because the incumbent Ukrainian President Yanokovych prefers to throw his political opponents into prison rather than having a democratic exchange of opinions. The Ukrainians themselves are not very interested in politics, considering the vast majority of their own politicians corrupt and incompetent.
However, Ukraine is an important market for German companies and businesses. That’s why Angela Merkel and many other German and EU politicians are supporting Yulia Tymoshenko by demanding her immediate release. Canadian and German doctors have been treating Yulia Tymoshenko but this is not enough. She needs to be given the same rights as any citizen. She clearly is not a criminal but other Ukrainian politicians are.
If Ukrainians want their country to prosper and thrive they need to start getting interested in Ukrainian politics. I’m of the impression that they aren’t. They are intimidated by their government and think that they can’t change anything. They view themselves as a powerless bunch who have been constantly betrayed by their politicians. They don’t care much about the upcoming parliamentary elections, claiming that the elections won’t bring about a change for the better.
Well, if you Ukrainians want to be part of Europe you need to take some serious action. Start by putting pressure on Yanokovych. Get him to set Tymoshenko free. Show us that you are worthy of receiving support from the EU. The Ukraine is not the Soviet Union. Times have already changed. You are allowed to read western media and follow events worldwide. What are your conclusions from what you see? That all politicians are always corrupt? If that’s the case, Ukraine will never become a country that other nations recognize as democratic. Democracy is about the people, not the politicians.
This is not about Yanokovych vs. Tymoshenko. It’s about what is right and what is wrong. What will you tell your children? “Son, I really love you but unfortunately you were born in a country that is ruled by corrupt politicians who only care about their own prosperity”? You now have free access to the Internet and international mass media. Many of you understand or even speak English. Isn’t it high time you started seriously thinking about how politics should work?
I have spoken to many intelligent and ambitious Ukrainians and they all tell me one thing: “We are interested in making a career, making money, growing our own businesses. We are not interested in politics. All Ukrainian politicians are corrupt.” What you don’t realize is that those politicians are Ukrainian too. They are part of your nation and every one of you is responsible for your Ukraine. Don’t blame everything on your corrupt politicians! If you do that you will never be free. Don’t you want to be proud of your nation?
If your president can throw his opponents in prison at will without facing any reaction from his people then he might also start throwing ordinary citizens in prison if they don’t agree with his politics. Is that what you want? If Ukraine’s government is corrupt then Ukrainian companies and other organizations must be corrupt too. Tymoshenko’s imprisonment hurts every single Ukrainian because your country has been getting more and more isolated. The EU doesn’t favor and support dictatorships.
Companies in the EU, especially in Germany, do business only with companies that adhere to certain standards. If you tolerate that an opposition politician like Yulia Tymoshenko can be thrown in prison like a criminal German companies don’t want to invest in Ukraine because they are afraid that their executives and employees can be threatened and harassed, too. Ukraine depends on Germany and the rest of the EU more than vice versa. We don’t want to come across as the better nation but we do want Ukraine to make some dramatic improvements. It’s you who want to join the EU. Please do show us that you are serious about this.
Does Yulia Tymoshenko have an entirely clean slate? Probably not but that’s beside the point. She clearly should not be treated as a criminal. You don’t need to like her personally. This is not about personal empathy. It’s about fairness and transparency. Keeping Tymoshenko imprisoned is an act of cowardliness and insecurity. Yanokovych is afraid of Tymoshenko’s charisma and intelligence. If you continue sitting there inactive you support this coward.
In Ukraine I have seen many young men who work out almost every day because in Ukraine your physical appearance is very important. Young Ukrainian men are in much better physical shape than their German counterparts. Now, I wonder what all these Ukrainian muscles are good for if a woman like Yulia Tymoshenko must sit in a prison cell while Ukrainian men can go the gym and sweat their guts out.
You have rebuilding many of your roads and improving Ukraine’s infrastructure. When will in earnest start build a democratic political system? Stop dilly dallying and get serious about democracy. Even Lukashenko wants Tymoshenko out of prison. What kind of Ukrainians are you if you don’t? If you are discussing politics in the privacy and safety of your homes only you haven’t even grasped the meaning of the term ‘democracy’ yet. If you don’t action now, Ukraine will become worse than Belarus and Russia combined.
You can help free Yulia Tymoshenko by signing this online petition by Change.org:
The Russian version of ‘Free Tymoshenko’ will be published here next week.