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Ukraine

Tymoshenko’s daughter ‘thankful’ for mother’s release

Yulia Tymoshenko and her daughter Eugenia on the stage at Independence Square in Kiev just hours after Tymoshenko's release from jail.
Yulia Tymoshenko and her daughter Eugenia on the stage at Independence Square in Kiev just hours after Tymoshenko's release from jail. Reuters/Yannis Behrakis

The daughter of Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has told RFI she hopes her mother’s release from prison will herald a new era of democracy for the country.

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The former Prime Minister was released from prison in Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine, on Saturday night after spending two and a half years in prison for abuse of power over a gas deal signed with Russia in 2009.

Her release follows a parliamentary decision to revert to the 2004 constitution, paving the way for her release.

Yulia Tymoshenko was immediately flown to the capital Kiev and gave an emotional speech before thousands of anti-government protesters on Independence Square, hailing them as “heros”.

Speaknig to RFI just moments after the speech, Eugenia Tymoshenko said she didn’t expect her mother to be released so soon.

“When she went onto the stage the people were screaming to her: ‘hero’, and really they welcomed her as a hero of Ukraine, as one of them. Of course there were a lot of tears, a lot of emotions,” she explained.

Eugenia Tymoshenko also thanked supporters for putting pressure for her mother’s release.

“It’s been three years of a long fight and we’re very thankful to people at Maidan [Independence Square] who fought for her, who fought for freedom for Ukraine first of all, and who have fallen as victims of the regime.”

“She [Yulia] said she was here in the new Ukraine made by the Ukrainian heros, and she’s proud to be Ukrainian. I’m also proud to be her daughter, and I just hope that now Ukraine can live better and start a better life for itself, and that politicians will be more accountable to these people,” Eugenia Tymoshenko said.

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