Supporters of jailed Ukrainian ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko have gathered outside the detention center where she is being held. They could see their beloved ‘Yulia’ waving to them from behind bars and heard her little cheering-up speech.
“Hang on, my dear ones, thank you for your support!” the jailed former opposition leader told her fans, smiling as she did so.
“The victory will be ours. Glory to Ukraine. I will get through this!”
Friday’s gathering of Tymoshenko loyalists was another in a series of rallies in her support following her October 11 conviction. Her appearance at a window of the detention center window is the first public sighting of Tymoshenko since she was jailed.
On Friday lawmakers delayed voting on a legal reform that could allow her release. The draft law could turn Tymoshenko’s crime into a milder economic misdemeanor, which might result in her being freed. The vote has been postponed for about two weeks.
Three weeks ago Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison for exceeding her authority in gas deals with Russia in 2009. She insists she is innocenct, accusing her rival President Viktor Yanukovych of ordering her imprisonment to bar her from parliamentary elections next year. Her conviction has threatened to derail Ukraine’s integration with the EU.