Yulia Tymoshenko is set to be a contender for the Ukrainian presidency.
A powerful speaker, the 53-year-old has served twice as prime minister of Ukraine, but narrowly lost out to recently-ousted Viktor Yanukovych in a 2010 presidential election bid.
She said her 2014 campaign will be one of “direct action”, promising to strengthen Ukraine’s armed forces and protect its borders.
“Putin wanted to punish us, Ukrainians, because we wanted the freedom to choose Europe and had the ability to fight,” she declared. “In my opinion, our response in Crimea was not strong enough. If people chose to give me the presidency I would never allow the aggressor to get even a centimetre of Ukrainian land without fighting.”
But her firm stance on Russia may not be enough to convince the majority of voters.
Although she was wildly popular ten years ago at the height of her power, she also gained a reputation amongst some for being divisive and headstrong.