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KHARKOV, November 1 (Itar-Tass) – Ukraine’s former Prime Minister and the incumbent leader of the political opposition, Yulia Timoshenko, has taken a decision to continue a hunger strike she started October 29 in protest of an alleged rigging of votes in last Sunday’s parliamentary election.
Alexander Turchinov, the chief of staff of the Batkivchshina /Fatherland/ party revealed the news to reporters after visiting a hospital where Timoshenko, who is currently servicing a seven-year jail term at a colony in this northeast Ukrainian city, is taking a course medical treatment since June.
The former prime minister is indignant upon seeing “the situation that’s taking shape in many precincts and the cynical way, in which the results of the expression of people’s will are being forged.”
“The only thing that can rebuff all of this is a hunger strike and that’s why, unfortunately, we failed to convince Yulia Vladimirovna /to stop it/ and she’ll continue it,” Turchinov said, stressing his associate’s combatant mood.
Arseny Yatsenyuk, the chief of Batkivshchina’s council who also attended the meeting with Timoshenko, said she is satisfied with the opposition’s performance in this election.
“We congratulated each other over the fact that the opposition has managed to withstand /the rivalry with the Regions Party supporting President Viktor Yanukovich – Itar-Tass/,” he said. “Timoshenko is satisfied with how we went through the campaign – we did it in a concerted manner.”
Ukraine’s First Deputy Minister of Healthcare Raissa Moiseyenko said earlier in the day Ukrainian physicians assess Timoshenko’s bodily condition as satisfactory but they make an unambiguous recommendation to her that she should not abstain from taking meals.
“We hope our German counterparts will visit Yulia Timoshenko soon and will give her appropriate recommendations, since she is turning down any assistance by Ukrainian physicians,” Moiseyenko said.
“We don’t know yet when the German team is expected to come here but we’ve already asked them to render assistance to Timoshenko if they find she really needs it,” she added.
Her course of treatment at hospital is supervised by a team of a team of physicians from the Charite clinic in Berlin.
A week ago, Timoshenko asked the penitentiary authorities to take her back to the Kachanovsky jail where she is serving her term.
She was sentenced by a court in Kiev in October 2011 for what the Ukrainian judiciary believes to be an abuse of occupational powers during the signing of agreements with Russia in 2009 on the prices of natural gas imported by Ukraine.