Mouth engaged before brain again – Yulia TymoshenkoMarch 26, 2014
As is very well known, Russian espionage tradecraft is alive and working very well – as US Ambassador Geoffery Pyatt and Assistant Secretary Nuland are well aware. Nobody in the EU will forget her publicised “F*ck the EU” statement not long ago made publicly available thanks to Russia.
It should therefore come as no surprise to any of the top Ukrainian politicians, “persons of interest” and “interesting people” – not the same thing – that they too would be subject to such tradecraft, especially so in the current circumstances.
But stupid is as stupid does – and there is nobody in Ukraine better at engaging their rhetorical mouth before engaging their brain than Yulia Tymoshenko when it comes to “persons of interest” to The Kremlin.
Thus the content of this leaked telephone call of Ms Tymoshenko, where she states it’s “time to take up arms and whack those damned Russkis and their leader.” I shall refrain from translating it all, other than to say that this is by far the mildest of the comments made. Think scorched earth, flattened Russia, machine guns fired in Russian heads and such.
Blimey how that will help deescalate matters
As I have written time and time again “Ms Tymoshenko knows only autocratic and oligarchical politics. She knows seedy opaque deals. She understands zero sum, conflict and division.”
Розмова була, але про 8 млн росіян в Україні – монтаж. Насправді сказала: росіяни в Україні – це українці.Привіт ФСБ:) Вибачте за нецензурне
— Юлія Тимошенко (@YuliaTymoshenko) March 24, 2014
She later confirmed the authenticity of the telephone conversation in the above tweet – but claimed it had been edited to mislead.
Given the sheer number of so many incredibly stupid statements she has made as a public figure – such as going on television in 2008 stating the global economic crisis would not affect Ukraine – belief in her statements and subsequent spin is somewhat thin. Thus few will believe her story of the conversation being edited – if it was.
Regardless of any truth in the tale of the conversation being edited – or not – it has very little relevance. It’s not what you say, but what people hear that counts.
Due to her complete lack of thought of both what she was saying and the medium she was using when she said it, what people will hear in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Odessa, are words from a presidential candidate – and woman widely believed to be very corrupt, far from honest in her oratory, and whom is already thought to be running the country from the shadows – making statements that will only further fuel their Kremlin planted/cultivated anxieties.
Alternatively, it may further spur secessionist sentiment amongst the hard core in western Ukraine to leave the rest of the nation behind if it is seen to be moving too slowly – or not at all. (At least such sentiment amongst the hard core nationalists that remain alive that is – some even manage to predict their own demise.)
Considering Kremlin attempts to mobilise the south and east of Ukraine must be very disappointing from their point of view thus far, perhaps they will now see a lever that can be engineered to push the west of Ukraine away instead. Or try both simultaneously. (The option of pushing western Ukraine away, as pulling southern and eastern Ukraine in seems to be currently failing miserably, is something I wrote about elsewhere a few days ago).
Perhaps once it was leaked, her swift confirmation of authenticity was to make the best of a bad situation. A swift spin into an attempt to win voters in western Ukraine from the nationalist ranks and such a strong rhetoric may also appeal to the millions of Russian speakers who do not want rescuing by Russia in preparation for the forthcoming presidential elections. A Ukrainian Boudica of imagery if not action at least?
Whatever the case, it seems there is a competition between Svoboda and Ms Tymoshenko to legitimise everything President Putin wants to plant in the minds of the ethnic and Russian speaking constituency in Ukraine. Why not just ask these regions to roll out the red carpet for Russian intervention to save them – not from fascists or anti-Russian sentiment – but from unbelievable Ukrainian political stupidity, whilst simultaneously further whipping up any secessionist sentiment in western Ukraine to leave the rest behind.
Considering there is little more divisive in Ukrainian politics than Yulia Tymoshenko – and the ideology of Svoboda – just how incredibly stupid and self-defeating can the current Svoboda/Batkivshchyna Party interim government be? There seems to be no limits!
Still, a timely reminder for the Europeans, western orientated nations and institutions intent upon supporting Ukraine in the years ahead, of just how very difficult that will be with the incredibly feckless Ukrainian political class and the likelihood of further public unrest – notwithstanding any Russian attempts to undermine any assistance given along the way.
Although I doubt any within the EU will have forgotten what became known as “Tymoshenko fatigue” a few years ago when she was last in power – if ever they needed a reminder – Yulia Tymoshenko is bound to provide it……time and time again!