Ukraine’s opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has called for continued demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital.
Her powerful and passionate plea for further protests against the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych capped an extraordinary day of events.
It came hours after parliament approved a measure allowing the former prime minister to be freed after spending 30 months in jail for abuse of power.
“Glory to Ukraine. My dears, I was dreaming of looking into your eyes, I was dreaming of feeling that strength that changed everything. I was dreaming of touching every single one of you to support you in this difficult moment. You are the heroes. You are the best asset of Ukraine,” she said.
She paid special tribute to the 82 people now known to have died in this week’s violent clashes.
Tymoshenko, 53, also broke down in tears several times, asking the crowd to forgive her and other politicians for failing them.
“We must do a few important things together. Firstly, we have to ensure that Yanukovych and all that garbage around him are brought here to Maidan,” added Tymoshenko.
Her words were welcomed by most in the crowd but some people whistled and booed, a sign perhaps that Tymoshenko remains a controversial figure.