Tymoshenko’s Trial and Ukraine’s Future

There is little doubt that the embarrassing spectacle of the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – and her recent arrest on contempt charges during the proceedings – is causing great damage to her country. And there is little doubt that how Ukraine develops will be of great importance for Europe’s future.

STOCKHOLM – There is little doubt that the embarrassing spectacle of the trial of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko – and her recent arrest on contempt charges during the proceedings – is causing great damage to her country. And there is little doubt that how Ukraine develops will be of great importance for Europe’s future.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004 ignited the hope of a new wave of democratic reforms in the countries to the east of the European Union – a period of so-called “color” revolutions. Soon, however, those forces that feared losing power in this vast and important region began a determined counter-offensive.

Nonetheless, Ukraine continued to stumble in a European direction, preserving important parts of the gains made in 2004. The 2010 comeback of President Viktor Yanukovych was essentially the result of a free and fair election.

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