Yulia V. Tymoshenko

Look­ing for a real-world hero or hero­ine? Some­one to tell your stu­dents about in Civics class?

Yulia V. Tymoshenko, the lead­ing oppo­si­tion politi­cian in Ukraine, has been sen­tenced to sev­en years in prison on charges that, accord­ing to The New York Times, “Euro­pean lead­ers have con­demned … as polit­i­cal­ly moti­vat­ed.” Those unnamed Euro­pean lead­ers went on to “hint… that they are unlike­ly to rat­i­fy a free trade and asso­ci­a­tion agree­ment with Ukraine, a project four years in the mak­ing.”

The Times arti­cle goes on to por­tray this extra­or­di­nary scene.

Ms. Tymoshenko, an acer­bic pop­ulist who rep­re­sents the Euro­pean-lean­ing west of the coun­try, rose to drown out the judge’s voice as he read out the ver­dict, speak­ing direct­ly to a bank of tele­vi­sion cam­eras.

” ‘This is an author­i­tar­i­an régime,’ she said. …”

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