Ukraine Opposition Icon, Released from Custody, Tells Protesters She Will Challenge Embattled President

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian opposition icon and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has arrived at a protest camp in Independence Square, the scene of violent protests, after being released from a hospital where she was incarcerated.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is greeted by supporters shortly after being freed from prison in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (Image source: AP Photo/Sergey Kozlov)

Tymoshenko, heroine of the 2004 Orange Revolution, is the chief rival of President Viktor Yanukovych. His rule is crumbling after protesters took control of the capital Saturday and parliament voted to remove him from power.

“You are heroes, you are the best thing in Ukraine!” she said of those killed in the violence, looking tired and speaking from a wheelchair as she addressed the euphoric crowd.

Upon her release, Tymoshenko promised to run for president and immediately went to Kiev’s Independence Square. The square has been the nucleus of a three-month protest movement that pushed Yanukovych to major concessions this week.