Like I said, Kolesnikov's arrest has been getting big local coverage. Every night on the news you can tune in and see which member of the old regime/new opposition is showing up to visit these new protestors. There's typically someone there from the SDPU(U) or some underling from the Ukrainian Regions Party. I got lucky today when I was checking out the whole scene near the Rada. My visit happened to conicide with that of Victor Fyodorvich Yanukovich himself. Look at the guy there, quite confident and forward looking; especially with that "Election 2004" flag flapping behind him.

In the long run, I have no idea how this will play out. During the election controversy, Kolesnikov was one of the Eastern politicians that was calling for autonomy/indepence for east. There's a fair amount of people camping there...but if the Orange revolution was the major leagues, this stuff barely passes as single A ball. Support for the protestors that I saw was limited to guys that obviously work for the new opposition parties showing up in their Lada station wagons to bring campers bread and such.

I have no idea if the charges that they got Kolesnikov on will stick. I read here that he'll be charged with extortion of property rights from the owner of a mall in Donetsk. Wouldn't surprise me if it was true, but can't say that he'll do time for it. The St. Petersburg Times is claiming that his role in three assasination attempts is also being investigated, if true, that's obviously pretty serious. Ukrayinska Pravda seems to think that this arrest could turn Kolesnikov into the Yanukovich block's Tymoshenko (who, incidentally, cancelled her upcoming trip to Moscow because the Russian government refuses to drop the criminal charges they have against her). I suppose that this is possible...but then again Tymoshenko is only Tymoshenko because enormous numbers of people took to the streets to back her position. All I've seen for Kolesnikov is a lot of bark and zero bite.

It'll be worth keeping an eye on this though, the way it shakes out for Kolesnikov could be indicative of how it's going to shake out for a lot of other members of the old government...especially the ones that have it coming.