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Why Ms.Tymoshenko’s no Jap!
Ukraine wins its gas war with Russia; and a lady masterminds it all

She fights like a Japanese, she shouts like a Japanese, she walks like a Japanese, even has a name resounding of the rising sun, but Ms. Yulia Tymoshenko, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, for all her film actress drop dead looks, knows when to call a spade a spade and Putin a jack of the behind! Taking sole credit for forcing Putin to beat a bumbling retreat in resolving the Russia-Ukraine gas crisis on January 19, 2009, Yulia showed how a mix of long term planning, strategic manoeuvres and slapstick humour is enough to put a brash bunch of slipshod ill-dressed truants [read, the Putin platoon] in their place for a long time to come.

The background first. Recently, Russia again stopped its gas supply to Europe, accusing Ukraine of illegally leaking gas out of its continental gas pipeline, which is the primary transit for gas supplies to a major part of Europe [25% of Europe’s and 80% of Ukraine’s gas supplies are from Russia], ergo forcing European countries to immediately get involved. Amusingly, the reason Putin played his master move was not at all economic, but political.

Since Ukraine’s Orange Revolution four years back – when Viktor Yushchenko, the revolution leader, led mass civic protests to become the President – Russia has stopped its gas supply four times to Ukraine to force bickering between its pro-western leaders so that the infighting leads finally to a pro-Russian bench coming to power. Truly, Yushchenko’s approval ratings have fallen dramatically from 60% to around 5%; and his open fights against Prime Minister Yulia have never been worse. But Putin hadn’t bargained for the scorned Yulia. Not only did she force Yushchenko to display a united front with her during this crisis, but she also ensured there was no gas shortage in Ukraine! How? Some observers claim she masterminded the gas leakage from Russian supplies to build up massive Ukrainian gas reserves. Yulia claims she’s had eye surgery recently [and therefore can’t see that well in the past].

By:- Akram Hoque

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