Feb. 22 - Freed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko confident Ukraine will be part of EU in future. Meanwhile, protesters celebrate President Viktor Yanukovich's impeachment. Nathan Frandino reports.
Yulia Tymoshenko is back. The Ukrainian opposition leader and former prime minister was freed on Saturday after two years in confinement. Upon her arrival in Kiev, she praised protesters for their historic achievement in toppling President Viktor Yanukovich. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) FREED UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER YULIA TYMOSHENKO, SAYING: "Nobody could have imagined that a handful of people which gathered at the most critical point on the square will be able to change the history - and not just for Ukraine." After clashes between riot police and anti-goverment protesters took 77 lives this week, a deal for reforms and early elections was reached Friday. But on Saturday, parliament voted to free Tymoshenko and impeach Yanukovich, an act he called a coup. The unrest started when Yanukovich backed out of a European Union deal, something Tymoshenko believes would return. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) FREED UKRAINIAN OPPOSITION LEADER YULIA TYMOSHENKO, SAYING: "And I'm confident that Ukraine will be in the nearest future a member of the European Union. I believe in that. Because that will change everything." Earlier in the day, protesters outside parliament celebrated Yanukovich's impeachment. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) PROTESTER, NO NAME GIVEN, SAYING: "I think it was the right decision by parliament because Yanukovich was no more fit to decide Ukraine's fate. And for him it's sort of a minimal loss - he would have lost more if he was hanged as people on the square wanted." While protesters mourn for the dead, the country still has a long way to go before early elections set for May 25.