Jailed former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko called on her supporters to oust President Viktor Yanukovich’s government in next month’s parliamentary elections.
The 51-year-old made the call in a video taped from her hospital bed.
Tymoshenko, imprisoned last October, branded Yanukovich’s regime as a “criminal gang” in the two-minute address.
Guards repeatedly tried to end the recording but to no avail.
“Whatever the law says concerining the people’s rights. It doesn’t matter for the Yanukovich mafia,” she said.
“If you don’t realise now that criminals and mafia are governing Ukraine, then nothing will protect you from what is happening now in the country.”
Tymoshenko argues President Yanukovich orchestrated abuse of office charges in a deliberate attempt to sideline her ahead of the elections.
His aides argue the gas deal with Russia she signed in office three years ago saddled Ukraine with costs it cannot afford.