I refer to Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko of Ukraine. She has this morning adopted that most noteworthy of Ukrainian political tactics 'being rushed to hospital'. Ukrainian politicians are always being rushed to hospital, unavailable from their sick beds, rather than be in a position to do, or not do, anything when put on-the-spot. For Ukraine-watchers, it is a frequent tactic.
The newswire of Business New Europe takes up the story:
"Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is hospitalised with flu, according to statements made by Ukraine's vice prime minister Oleksandr Turchynov on Channel 5... President Viktor Yushchenko had charged her with full repayment of Ukrainian debts to Gazprom before a deadline of 10 a.m., March 3, but her hospitalization looks set to stall this.
""Being a woman of character, she tried to come to work again and was taken to hospital literally from her workplace," Turchynov said. Her hospitalization follows Yushchenko sending a telegram to Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko yesterday, stating that she had failed to adhere to the Moscow agreements and demanding, according to Interfax, she "take urgent and exhaustive measures to pay Ukraine's debt for the gas consumed. The government must fulfill all high-level agreements."
"Tymoshenko was due to personally report to Yushchenko on implementation of his order's execution today at 9 a.m, according to Kommersant. Whereas Yushchenko reached an agreement February with Russia President Vladimir Putin and Gazprom for Ukrainian gas distributor Natftogaz Ukrainy to repay its debts, Tymoshenko has been dragging her feet over implementing the agreement, causing Gazprom to set a deadline for March 3, after which gas supplies to Ukraine will be cut by 25%."
Meanwhile, excellent UKR blog, Foreign Notes, today has a heart-rending little crie de coeur about the stress she is under: 'no wonder she is ill' ...
Why of course, March 3rd.
The day after (Gazprom Chairman) Dmitry Medvedev - who's been trying to cast himself as a progressive - wins the Russian Presidency by a vast landslide, the world is reminded of how horrid is the Russian bear as poor defenceless, pro-Western, 'European' little Ukraine has its gas switched off (sic) again by big, bad, greedy Gazprom.
It's propaganda people: from Langley to Kyiv by way of Wag the Dog.
How dumb do the US-funded Russophobes think we all are? Dumb enough, I guess, dumb enough. Because you just know the wailing the BBC and others will plod along with.