Did a British "Russia expert" just write the steamin-est pile of sexist word barf ever assembled about Ukraine's ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko? Maybe!
Two weeks ago, months of unrest in the Ukraine exploded in violent street protests that led to the deaths of dozens of opposition protesters at the hands of police and government troops. Citizens of the Ukraine were upset with their country's President Viktor Yanukovych over what they saw as a series of power grabs indicative of endemic corruption, including a reneged promise to join the European Union that pleased Russia but disappointed the West, according to the New York Times. One of Yanukovych's many other shady stunts included jailing former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko after she lost the Presidential election to Yanukovych in 2010, a move some in the Ukraine saw as politically motivated. After Yanukovych fled his Presidential estate in Kiev on Saturday, Tymoshenko was released from a prison hospital and delivered a stirring address to a large crowd of supporters. As it stands, Yanukovych stands charged with mass murder, and Tymoshenko stands poised to run for President in a crowded field when the country holds special elections in May.
But Russia expert Edward Lucas, who claims to know Tymoshenko's wiley ways, is pretty sure that Tymoshenko is dangerous, a golden-haired she-demon using her sexy angel-face to lure the Ukraine into a false sense of security. That's not linguistic hyperbole. Lucas, a professional writer who sometimes has pieces published in The Economist, refers to Tymoshenko in a piece for The Daily Mail as possessing "angelic beauty" and "kittenish ways," her "immaculate blonde tresses" (to be fair, Yulia Tymoshenko's braid is immaculate to the point of being fucking awesome, but that has nothing to do with her ability or inability to lead the Ukraine) deliberately fashioned to evoke a fairy tale "gas princess." All of this distracts people from the real Tymoshenko, who is "terrifying" and "sexually threatening" to men in order to get her way. He knows the truth. She's a goddamn magical succubus!!!!!!11 Just read Lucas's anecdata about all the times she made him feel funny in the penis and then did scary, unpenis-related stuff like work toward political goals.
I have interviewed her many times. Her body language, eyes, coquettish tosses of the head and cooing tones are almost hypnotic. But she is also capable of explosive anger. I have seen her shriek and curse in terrifying eruptions of rage: the kitten turns into a tigress.
Many foreign leaders have been smitten by her. Georgia's mercurial former President Mikheil Saakashvili was said to have been charmed by her during a helicopter ride which attracted lurid speculation.
TOSSING HER HEAD? Throw that broad out of here. She can't possibly know what she's doing.
Her blonde hair became legendary. Her appearance seemed to be designed to evoke the image of a fairytale princess in Ukrainian folklore. In 2005, she was appointed Prime Minister.
Again, a woman's hairstyle has nothing to do with her ability to run a country (unless that hairstyle is Ill-advised Spring Break Bo Derek Cornrows, and even that's debatable), but, you know, why not just throw more old tires on this burning pile of garbage? Let's go for a record here!
What other sexist trash can we go into? What other corners can we explore? How about the evergreen Bitch Be Crazy angle?
She is also prone to irrational, often self-aggrandising flights of fancy. Like many in the former Soviet Union, she believes in horoscopes and psychics.
According to Dmitry Vydrin, formerly a close adviser, she thinks she is the reincarnation of Eva Peron, the late Argentine leader immortalised by Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita.
After establishing that he thinks that Yulia Tymoshenko is pretty and makes him and others maybe have a boner and that her prettiness juxtaposed with her ambition means she's evil and scary, Lucas goes on to provide real arguments against Tymoshenko's possible Presidency, arguments he might use against a male politician. She's got a demonstrated history of ties to corruption. She's going to bring more of the same to the Ukraine. She's another kleptocrat. That's a real argument that a university-educated person who isn't shit-scared of a woman with cool hair and a pretty face and a pleasant voice would make. It's unfortunate that Edward Lucas isn't enough of an adult to make it.
Image via AP