According to her official website, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has officially joined the Maidan Civil Movement, a newly formed civilian organization stemming from the Euromaidan movement, just as the protest that began in Ukraine in November 2013 enters its second month.
Tymoshenko, jailed in 2011 for allegedly “exceeding authority”, is considered by many around the world to be a political prisoner, while Ukrainians are divided on their opinions of her. Most Ukrainian citizens condemned her imprisonment in 2011, some claiming that the current regime's only reason for doing so was to remove her from politics after current Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych won the 2010 presidential election, with Tymoshenko as his opponent in the run-off round, by just 3.5 percent.
In a YouTube video posted by Ukrainian Channel 5 and released on Tymoshenko's official site, the founders announce the new Maidan Civil Movement's inception before thousands of protesters gathered in Kyiv's Independence Square:
Tymoshenko's photograph has been gracing many posters and billboards related to the Euromaidan protests in recent weeks, and the jailed former prime minister's daughter has recently, along with other supporters, demanded the immediate release of her mother amid the growing anti-government demonstrations in the country. Other protesters are requesting that Tymoshenko's image be removed from any Euromaidan-related visual materials, not explicitly against Tymoshenko's person and image, but rather as a continuous request by the civilian movement to keep the protests unrelated to any political party or figure.
A recent post titled “Yulia Tymoshenko Isn't Who You Think She Is”, Policymic.com explains Tymoshenko's role in the country and the on-going protests:
Ongoing protests are not about Tymoshenko. Although, how she was treated has further undermined people's trust in the president and his regime, and this is reflected in their calls to keep politics (existing slogans of political opposition) out of Maidan. As an example, a petition was recently started on Avaaz to remove her portraits from the infamous Christmas tree. Currently, people see existing political opposition, including Tymosehko's “Fatherland” party, as part of the political problem rather than its solution. However, as of yet, the civil society is unable to offer new leaders of their own. A workable solution will have to come from their collaboration, but an effective recipe has yet to be found.