Activist presses Ukraine for release of Tymoshenko

Ex-lawmaker cites reforms nation should adopt

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Human Rights Watch says Ukraine has a mixed human rights record.

“The case against [Mrs. Tymoshenko] and other highly politicized cases give grounds for concern that the government uses politically motivated charges to deal with its political rivals,” said Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch.

Mr. Yanukovych has also come under pressure from the opposition to release Mrs. Tymoshenko to undergo treatment in Germany for chronic back pain.

Mr. Bondarchuk was active in the pro-democracy Orange Revolution of November of 2004. Mrs. Tymoshenko was one of its leaders.

During the Orange Revolution, Ukrainian opposition leaders were “solid people,” but now, “opposition politicians are new computers, but old software,” he said.

Mr. Bondarchuk said that neither he nor Mrs. Tymoshenko favor another “revolutionary path” in Ukraine, but “there is a risk of revolution, which could put the whole country into chaos.”

He accused Mr. Yanukovych of heading a “super presidential republic” in which the president is “the only real decision maker.”

Tatiana Shalkivska, a spokesman for the Ukraine Embassy in Washington, declined to comment on Mr. Bondarchuk’s accusations, but some analysts have also noticed a drift toward authoritarianism in Ukraine.

“If you look at what has happened in Ukraine since 2010, when Mr. Yanukovych became president, you have seen a trend toward a more authoritarian government,” said Mr. Pifer.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen

Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.

Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.


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