May 12 - Opposition supporters gather in a show of political unity at a rally in central Kiev. Sunita Rappai reports.
A sunny day in Ukraine's capital Kiev - perfect for a political rally. The country's main opposition parties put on a united front on Saturday, with many calling for jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko's release. The former prime minister is serving a controversial seven-year prison sentence for abuse of office charges which she says are politically motivated. Her daughter Evgenia read a statement from her thanking opposition parties for their support. "We are able to strike as a united front at the mafia which is sitting in the government", she adds, "to give back to our citizens a feeling of personal dignity and pride". Oleksander Turchinov, deputy head of Tymoshenko's Fatherland party said Tymoshenko had been brutally beaten in prison but her spirit was still strong. "They wanted to break her but they couldn't," he says. Both the European Union and the US have denounced Tymoshenk's trial and sentence as politically motivated and urged President Viktor Yanukovich to free her. Sunita Rappai, Reuters