Ukraine to Release Former Prime Minister

Yulia Tymoshenko has been in jail 2 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 21, 2014 11:34 AM CST
Ukraine to Release Former Prime Minister
A 2011 file photo of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov, File)

Ukraine's newly empowered parliament has voted to allow the release of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko after more than two years in prison. Legislators voted 310-54 to decriminalize the count under which she was imprisoned, meaning that she is no longer guilty of a criminal offense. "Free Yulia! Free Yulia!" legislators chanted after the vote. It was not immediately clear when she might be released from the eastern city of Kharkiv where she is serving her sentence.

As part of today's deal between President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders, the parliament also granted unconditional amnesty to detained protesters, notes Reuters. It seems to bode well for an end to the recent violence, but the New York Times raise two big caveats: Russia hasn't backed the deal, and many protesters continue to demand the resignation of Yanukovich. (Read more Yulia Tymoshenko stories.)

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