Today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote a column in The New York Times ripping into the current Ukrainian administration:
Ukraine’s parliamentary elections at the end of this month will be an important bellwether for the state of these institutions. At the moment, there are some worrying trends, as confirmed by the latest interim report by the election observation mission of the O.S.C.E.’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
Hillary isn’t wrong about election issues in Ukraine. But her timing is extraordinary. By chiming in just before the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, she hopes to throw the election from current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich to his opposition. In fact, she essentially admits as much:
We regret that the convictions of opposition leaders during trials that did not meet international standards are preventing them from standing in parliamentary elections. The Ukrainian government needs to address these selective prosecutions, including the case of former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko and other former senior officials.
Even though she admits that Ukraine has been pursuing a “broader reform agenda,” the piece is a deeply negative gloss on Yanukovych’s administration.
There’s only one problem: the Ukrainian opposition is tight with Russia. As we wrote last week, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is an ally of Vladimir Putin; even former Orange Revolution leader and Tymoshenko ally Victor Yuschenko has condemned Tymoshenko for her corrupt ties to the Putin regime. Hillary’s getting started on her “flexibility” plan for Russia a bit early.
But it gets worse than that. Not only is Yanukovich’s opposition pro-Putin, it reportedly allies itself with open anti-Semites, according to Interfax, a Ukrainian news agency. The head of the Israel-Ukraine inter-parliamentary association, Israel is Our Home Party MP Alex Miller, came out yesterday to condemn the opposition for signing a coalition agreement with the Svoboda All-Ukrainian Union. The agreement would put Svoboda into the governing coalition. The head of that party, Oleh Tiahnybok, has claimed that “Ukraine was occupied by the Jews, rather than the Germans,” and the party itself is reportedly named after the Nazi Party.
“I cannot imagine how opposition political parties in Ukraine, who describes themselves as being democratic, could sign an agreement with such odious personalities. Israel and Ukraine have in recent years established great relations, and tourism and trade are growing. If politicians like Tiahnybok come to power, they can start putting a spoke in our wheel and stop the expansion of ties between [Israel and Ukraine],” said Miller.
But this doesn’t seem to bother Hillary Clinton in the slightest. Of course, associations with anti-Semites never has. It’s no surprise to see the woman who once hugged Suha Arafat shilling for a Ukrainian opposition that makes governing deals with reported Nazi knockoffs.