The Front for Change Party, the Batkivschyna all-Ukrainian Union (prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s party) and another four parties today announced their unification for participation in the elections to the Parliament on October 28, 2012, reported the Kyiv Post.

“We have united in order to win the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, [and] to restore democracy and justice in Ukraine,” First Deputy Chairman of the Batkivschyna All-Ukrainian Union Oleksandr Turchynov said, reading out the declaration of unity at a press conference on Monday, Apr. 23. (more…)

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

April 3, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation hosted a breakfast seminar with the Ukrainian party leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former minister for foreign affairs and speaker. Yatsenyuk is a key figure in the attempts to unite the democrat opposition in Ukraine prior to the next parliamentary elections in October this year.

Reports of the developments in Ukraine confirm that the democracy is suffering under President Viktor Yanukovych. What does this mean to this year’s parliamentary elections and how does the democrat opposition work? Those are some of the questions that Arseniy Yatsenyuk answered during the seminar. (more…)

Walburga Habsburg Douglas and Åsa Lindstam outside the prison.

Walburga Habsburg Douglas, MP representing the Moderate party and Deputy Chairman of the OSCE:s parliamentary assembly was refused on Monday to visit the Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in prison. Both the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and the Prisons Authority rejected the application for a visit.

“Ukraine must offer transparency immediately and allow the international community to visit Yulia Tymoshenko in prison and see first-hand the conditions in which she is being kept. Ukrainian diplomats and parliamentarians have offered numerous accounts of how ‘comfortable’ the conditions are in Kharkiv for the former prime minister, harping on the fact that she has comforts of home, like a washing machine” said Walburga Habsburg adding that “the fact is that these messages are no substitute for in-person visits.If the government has a story to tell about the conditions in Ms. Tymoshenko’s cell, then authorities should allow international visitors at once.”
“By focusing the discussion on the prison, the Ukrainian foreign ministry has tried to divert attention from the larger issues related to rule of law and political prosecution,” stated Walburga Habsburg.

(more…)

Don’t forget Ukraine

February 8th, 2012   Ukraine

At the end of 2011 Julia Tymoshenko, former prime minister and leader of the Ukrainian Batkivshchyna Partyy, was transferred to a prison about 500 km outside the capital Kiev. This happened “despite the clear evidence of the grave state of her health and the fact that she was kept in a medical ward of the pre-trial detention center and cannot move without assistance,” explained a spokesperson for Batkivshchyna Party. Neither members of her family, nor her defense counselors were informed in advance about the transfer. (more…)

The Kyiv Post is reporting that representatives of the Ukrainian political opposition are planning to stop fighting against one another at the 2012 parliamentary election. According to an agreement on joint actions of the opposition, which was read out at a rally in Kyiv on January 22, it was stated that  “only together can we achieve a common goal – to fight dictatorship and build a just and prosperous country!” . (more…)

Ukrainian tax authorities have re-opened four more criminal cases against imprisoned Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister and opposition leader, less than a month after she was sentenced to seven years in prison for crimes allegedly committed during her time as prime minister.

The four offences allegedly occurred at the time when Yulia Tymoshenko was head of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU) in the late 1990s. All cases deal with alleged tax evasion. UESU was then the main Ukrainian importer of the Russian natural gas. (more…)

Ukrainian authorities recently issued signals about the fate of the imprisoned ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as President Viktor Yanukovych hinted that she might be released following a legal reform. However, the Ukrainian Security Service is now filing new corruption charges against her.

Two days after Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison, the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) launched a new criminal case, suspecting the former prime minister and current opposition leader of attempting to embezzle $405 million in government funds. This she should have done in cooperation with a government member while heading the United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU), the country’s largest power company, in the mid-1990s. (more…)

Yulia Tymoshenko, former prime minister and current opposition leader in Ukraine, was today sentenced to seven years in prison. In addition to this, she was ordered to pay a fine of $188 million to the Ukraine state and will not be able to run for office in another three years. “[This] seriously harm Ukraine’s European integration and casts serious doubts on the Association Agreement” said Viktoria Siumar, Executive Director, Independent Media Institute in Kyiv.

Viktoria Siumar explains that President Yanukovych has shown that he does not want to hear what the EU leaders are saying. “He behaves like a typical post-Soviet authoritarian leader, the main thing for him – [is to] to remove a political rival.” Yulia Tymoshenko has 15 days to appeal the verdict. (more…)

Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party, requested permission from the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv to visit Yulia Tymoshenko in jail during his visit to Ukraine on September 13-16. The request was rejected by Judge Rodion Kireyev of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv. According to the Court, Wilfried Martens did not provide sufficient cause for such a meeting.  Instead, the EPP president met with Yulia Tymoshenko’s daughter Eugenia Tymoshenko and later with President Viktor Yanukovych.

“It was a frank discussion and I explained to him [President Viktor Yanukovych] the EPP position on Ukraine” – Wilfried Martens commented on his Twitter account. (more…)

Senator John McCain and the President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens, jointly called on Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office to release on bail Yulia Tymoshenko, leader of the Batkivshchyna Party and former Prime Minister, following her dubious detention on August 5, 2011.

Read the pressrelease