Protesters Give Ex-Ukraine PM Mixed Reaction

Yulia Tymoshenko tells them, 'You are all heroes!'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2014 2:18 PM CST
Ukraine's Opposition Icon Emerges
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is greeted by supporters shortly after being freed from prison in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014.   (Sergey Kozlov)

Ukrainian opposition icon and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko arrived today at a Kiev protest camp after being released from a hospital where she was incarcerated. "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 a euphoric crowd of thousands. The BBC reports that she didn't favor amnesty for her political opponents, saying, "We simply cannot afford to pardon those who were allowed to send bullets into the hearts of our young men."

She promised to let the public know what is happening "back stage" in the "big theater" of politics, and said she would run for the presidency in May. But some who support regime change were less than enthusiastic, seeing her as a face from the past with her own political baggage, NBC News reports. "She was a part of the system, and that's why maybe a fresh face and a fresh person would be a better choice than someone who was already there," said a woman in the crowd. Meanwhile, the far-right Ukrainian opposition group Right Sector vowed to keep protesting Yanukovych's ouster, Reuters reports. "The Right Sector will not disperse," the group said. "Now we must be more united than before." Click for more on what's happening in the Ukraine. (Read more Ukraine stories.)

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