Yulia Tymoshenko has urged opposition supporters in Kiev’s Independence Square to continue their protests.
Ukraine’s former PM Yulia Tymoshenko, who has a back injury, addressed crowds from a wheelchair after being freed from detention.
“Until you finish this job… nobody has the right to leave,” she said.
Her speech came at the end of a dramatic day that saw President Viktor Yanukovych removed by the parliament and fleeing Kiev, but refusing to stand down.
Yulia Tymoshenko broke down in tears as she told cheering supporters late on Saturday: “You are heroes.
“Because nobody could… do what you have done.”
“We’ve eliminated this cancer, this tumor,” she said.
However, while Yulia Tymoshenko was hailed by many in the audience, she does not enjoy universal support among the opposition.
Before she went into prison in 2011, Yulia Tymoshenko’s popularity ratings were dropping and many Ukrainians blame her in part for the chaos of the post-Orange Revolution years, or see her as a member of Ukraine’s corrupt elite.
Dozens of people walked away in disgust when she appeared on the stage in Independence Square.
A vote by parliament on Friday paved the way for Yulia Tymoshenko’s release.
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