For any democratic society to be just and fair, its judicial arm must be able to deal with state corruption. Under the old leadership of Kuchma, prior to the Orange Revolution, this was not the case in Ukraine.
The Washington Post covers an important story in the Ukraine. In September 2000, investigative reporter Heorhiy Gongadze was brutally murdered by what appears to be Interior Ministry henchmen. Former President Leonid Kuchma was implicated along with other senior government officials when secretly recorded tapes were released regarding the killing.
Now, Yuri Kravchenko, Ukraine's former Interior Minister was found dead today prior to meeting with investigators looking into the case now that Kuchma is out of office and on vacation in the Chech Republic. Whether he was killed or committed suicide is still being determined.
President Victor Yushchenko has made the case a "moral obligation" of Ukraine to solve. The popular Prime Minister of Ukraine, Ms. Julia Tymoshenko
"suggested Friday that Kravchenko, who was fired by Kuchma in 2001, may not have killed himself and that his death might be an attempt to prevent others from being implicated in the conspiracy.
'If he really committed this act himself, it may indicate that he was afraid of taking responsibility for developments surrounding Gongadze’s murder,' Tymoshenko said, according to the Interfax news agency. 'If it was not a suicide, then it was an attempt to conceal the truth about the murder.'"
PM Tymoshenko's direct involvement in moving the case forward demonstrates Ukraine's commitment for building a society based on the rule of law. The case is intriguing and President Yushchenko's desire to make it an administration priority is a good indicator to the West and more importantly to Russia and Ukraine's citizens that true reform is coming to Kiev and that the old Soviet system is a dying breed in Europe.
For More on the history of this case (and an photo of Julia or Yulia Tymoshenko) see Publius Pundit here and here. Also, Le Sabot Post-Moderne has many very good links on Ukraine and the Gogadze murder here.