March 29 - Ahead of May presidential elections, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says ''Crimea is Ukraine.'' Gavino Garay reports.
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Ahead of presidential elections in May.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister -- and presidential candidate -- Yulia Tymoshenko wants Crimea back.
And she's backed by thousands here in Kiev square, draped in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) FORMER UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, YULIA TYMOSHENKO, SAYING:
"I set it as my goal to bring the occupation of Crimea to an end. I don't perceive statements that are being voiced around the world today or those analytical reports given to the leaders of the biggest countries saying that Ukraine has already lost Crimea and that we must be reconciled to this fact. I want to tell you now with all my responsibility that I will never be reconciled to this fact. Crimea is Ukraine. Crimea is Ukrainian. And we will return it to us and release it from occupants."
The former Prime Minister has spent time in prison. She was jailed in 2011 for abuse of office linked to a gas deal she had brokered with Russia.
Mainly under prison guard in a hospital, she was freed when Former President Viktor Yanukovich fled on February 20.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ODESSA RESIDENT, STEPAN BALMADGY, SAYING:
"She is an experienced politician. She went through what God forbid anyone go through. She knows how to find a way out for the country from this political crisis. And she can. We are sure that she will be able to do that. All her rivals like Poroshenko, Klitschko - her main rivals - will not be able to do that. Yulia is the only hope."
For now, she'll face off against Petro Poroshenko, who on Saturday was backed by boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko.
Klitschko decided to pull out of the race.
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