Saturday, February 22, 2014

Yulia Tymoshenko, Former Ukraine Prime Minister, Rallies Crowd at Independence Square, Kiev (VIDEO)

This is getting to be pretty major.

At Telegraph UK, "Yulia Tymoshenko arrives in Kiev as revolution forces president from power":

Freed Yulia Tymoshenko addresses crowds in Kiev as President Viktor Yanukovych flees in face of popular uprising.

Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine’s former prime minister, has walked free from detention to hail the “end of dictatorship” hours after President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown by the revolution on the streets of Kiev.

From early morning protesters had advanced from their stronghold in the centre of the capital to take control of parliament, the presidency and the cabinet office.

The police melted away and offered no resistance. Mr Yanukovych himself fled the capital and sought refuge in his political heartland in eastern Ukraine.

As he made this exit, believed to have taken place under cover of darkness on Friday night, his leading opponent then headed back to Kiev.

The former prime minister, who was jailed on trumped up charges of abuse of office in 2011, was released from detention in hospital on the orders of parliament.

As she left, Ms Tymoshenko declared: “Our homeland will from today on be able to see the sun and sky as a dictatorship has ended,” she said, later adding: “I am sure that Ukraine will be a member of the European Union in the near future and this will change everything.”

Last night she touched down in the capital, marking the end of a two year ordeal of imprisonment in a tearful reunion with her daughter Eugenia, who has been at the forefront of the protest that brought down the president.

She is expected to be a contender for the presidency in a post-revolutionary election fixed for May 25.

Her release ended a dramatic day that transformed Ukraine. After a confrontation lasting almost three months - and a bloodstained week during which at least 70 demonstrators were shot dead in the heart of Kiev - Mr Yanukovych’s resolve appears to have cracked.
More here.

Also at the New York Times, "Live Video and Social Media Updates From Ukraine."