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Newly freed Tymoshenko declares 'dictatorship has fallen'

Published on Feb 23, 2014 12:31 AM
Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko reacts after she was freed in Kharkiv on February 22, 2014. Ms Tymoshenko, 53, was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office over a gas deal with Russia but her supporters and Western leaders said her trial was politically motivated. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KIEV (AFP) - Ukrainian opposition icon Yulia Tymoshenko declared on Saturday "the dictatorship has fallen" as she walked free under a resolution passed by Parliament that reversed her 2011 conviction, as a dramatic political crisis gripped the country.

"The dictatorship has fallen," Ms Tymoshenko said in a statement released on her official website. "It fell thanks to those people who came out to defend themselves, their families and their country."

“Our homeland will from today on be able to see the sun and sky as a dictatorship has ended,” she told reporters after her release from the hospital where she had been held under prison guard for most of the time since she was jailed in 2011, reported Reuters. 

Regretting the deaths of anti-government protesters in gun battles and clashes with police, she said everything must be done so that “each drop of blood was not spilled in vain". 

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