Fresh From Jail, Tymoshenko Will Run for Ukraine Prez

She promises to bulk up army
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2014 9:43 AM CDT
Fresh From Jail, Tymoshenko Will Run for Ukraine Prez
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, speaks during press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, March 27, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, one of her country's most polarizing political figures, announced today that she will run for presidential elections set for May 25. Tymoshenko, who was released from jail last month following the overthrow of her political rival, President Viktor Yanukovych, said she would stand to protect the unity of Ukraine. "I will be the candidate of Ukrainian unity," Tymoshenko said. "The west and center of Ukraine has always voted for me, but I was born in the east, in Dnipropetrovsk."

Tymoshenko also promised to build a strong army, and to attempt to retake Crimea from Russia, Reuters reports. This will be Tymoshenko's second attempt to secure the presidency. She narrowly lost to Yanukovych in 2010. She's served as prime minister twice, and was jailed in 2011 on abuse of power charges stemming from a gas deal she brokered with Russia. She'll be the best-known candidate in a broad field that will include politicians from the east as well as heavyweight boxer Vitaliy Klitschko. But she's a divisive figure, admired by some as an icon of democracy, and reviled by others as an untrustworthy self-promoting manipulator. (More Yulia Tymoshenko stories.)

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