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Yulia, enough

d571939-ll1Serhiy Leshchenko, Ukrainska Pravda journalist

We Ukrainians have received a unique chance to reboot our country. This didn’t just happen accidentally.This is a fateful gift  for which we have paid with a river of coffins in Kyiv.

Following the failure of the Orange Revolution, it seemed that we were to stay under a dictatorship for decades. However, after paying the terrible price of a hundred dead heroes, we have received a second chance. This chance is much like pressing the restart button in politics. Now, leaders with flawless moral qualities will hopefully come to power – people who can say “NO!” to Akhmetov, Firtash, Novinsky and others, instead of making deals with them under the table.

Yes, Tymoshenko was convicted illegally and the trial was politically motivated. There was no proof of her personal enrichment from her gas contracts with Putin. However, with all due respect, it is no longer her turn to manage Ukraine.

I have some financial documents similar to those recently found in Mezhygiriya.The documents in my possession prove that Tymoshenko paid Lazarenko. She didn’t pay him 100 UAH but 100 MILLION USD – minimum. I have video of an FBI agent in which he testifies that Tymoshenko was an accomplice of Lazarenko and was paying him bribes. I have heaps of invoices paid by her to Lazarenko [and] testimonies of her partners and even of her fake managers.

This evidence was not gathered by corrupt Ukrainian prosecutors but by an American investigation carried out by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

In addition, there are many other details. There are eyewitness accounts that you, Yulia Volodymyrivna, cancelled your flight to New York in fear that you would be served with a court  summons for the Lazarenko case. And there is also this description that Georgy Gongadze gave you in 1999:

Just please don’t tell us that there were no other options of running a business in any other way in the 1990s. Everyone has a choice as to whether to pay bribes.

I don’t want newspapers to write about the future President of Ukraine, a country that has gone through bloodshed, as someone with a corrupt past. But if Tymoshenko becomes the President of Ukraine, that is what I will have to write about.

Let Tymoshenko be free. Let her run her business or be involved in charity. Let her be a director of Mezhyhiriya. Just not the President of our Ukraine! People gathered on  Maidan not for her. Tymoshenko’s own smaller Maidan was a bit further down Khreshchatyk Street  – the empty, lifeless tents by the Pecherskiy court, filled with nothing but the wind.

And please don’t try to label me as a someone who goes “against-everyone”. I have never been one. Maidan has given birth to thousands of leaders who will manage  our Ukraine better than Tymoshenko – leaders who  don’t have corrupt pasts behind them or corrupt futures as well. Let Parubiy, Yarosh or that guy who went on stage yesterday with an ultimatum to Yanukovych after which he resigned – let [any of them] be our President. Just let it NOT be Tymoshenko.

Translated by Oksana Poliakova

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