Kyiv Post on November 22, 2013, published a letter from Yulia Tymoshenko to the Ukrainian president. Excerpts below:

Editor’s Note: The following is an unofficial translation of a letter written by imprisoned former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to President Viktor Yanukovych on Nov. 22.
Dear Viktor Fedorovych!

Today I can relatively safely write a letter to you.

We beg your pardon for all…spontaneous emotions, we are all human and sometimes it is hard to control one’s temper. But now it is important not to sink into aggression, but to save the situation by all means. You are the only one, who can do this, that is why I reply to you with this letter.

Viktor Fedorovych, I advise and beg you to call the National Security and Defense Council…

This is your only chance to survive as politician, because now, while killing the agreement, you make the main mistake of your life.

I am well aware of your true internal motivation that is why I will not overstrain you with moral or civilizing adages. I want to give you only three pieces of advice, which you will certainly understand, and which maybe, will save the agreement.

Advice #1. You choose the vector of international strategy of Ukraine depending on the way it will influence your chances to re-elect for the president position. You decided that the best solution for this aim is to straddle the fence between the European Union and Russia, and because you are killing the association agreement with the EU. You think that you can continue to bluff, blackmail and play between two civilizing centers and to receive desired gifts from them for the sake of your power position. From some of them – cheap gas, electorate and money, from others – international legislation of your authoritarian rule and corruption. You are wrong. I believe, that after the failure of signing the agreement, the Western democratic world will leave you alone until 2015, because they are not in the business of reeducating primitive politicians.

Since the final agreement break, you will lose one of the most powerful influence centers, which you want to continue to exploit – the Western democratic world. You will be one to one with Russia; you will have to live up to its road map. At this point, the failure of agreement with the EU will be well approved by Russia, and you are even likely to get some sort of remuneration over this “courageous” step. I do not know what it will be like – relatively cheap gas, discreet loans or withdrawal of trade problems. It doesn’t matter. But keep in mind that these are not just gifts but hooks which you will fall for. And that’s not all. When you will have hardship during the economic and social failure, and there are no International Monetary Fund, no European Union, then your only “friend,” the Russian Federation, will help you, no doubts.

But the price of surrender is the national interests of Ukraine, which even you are not willing to pay. Russia will make you choose: either it will rescue you from socio-economic collapse, which has come already, or will not rescue at all.

So, my advice for you is: under no circumstances stay one to one with Russia, because in this case you will lose everything. You can only be protected with the association agreement.

Advice #2. Stop trying to get money from the Western world so roughly and hysterically in exchange for the agreement. It looks like primitive, crude impropriety. Sign the agreement – and the Western world will give you everything itself. They will save you from all the financial and socio-economic gaps that you have made. Understand that when you sign the agreement, the whole democratic world will be honored not to disappoint Ukrainian society in the European vector of development. Everything will be done for the 46 million people to experience real and substantial positive results by signing the agreement with the EU.

Advice #3 — Do not feel uneasy because of my issue. Your fear is so evident that you cannot hide it. Signing the agreement while holding a political prisoner in your dungeons significantly reduces you

But that’s your risk and your loss. Do what you consider necessary. I give you my word, that if you decide to sign the agreement, on the same day I will apply to European leaders asking to sign the agreement without implementation some parts of criteria, including those related to my release.

Remember my third advice and think about success the country you are responsible for, not about banal conquest of power at all costs, and success will come imperceptibly.

Naturally, you don’t have to listen to my advice. It means no one will give half of the coin for your political future, and you will hardly stay as president of Ukraine for long. But for now, you have time and right to choose. You choose.

Yulia Tymoshenko, imprisoned in Kharkiv’s Kachaniv colony, is the former prime minister of Ukraine. She wrote this letter to President Viktor Yanukovych on Nov. 22.


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