Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko Tests Positive for COVID-19

Tymoshenko is the first high-profile politician in Ukraine known to have contracted the novel coronavirus infection

Yulia Tymoshenko, former Prime Minister of Ukraine, has tested positive for COVID-19 and her condition is said to be serious with a fever. The announcement was made on Sunday by a spokeswoman for her party, All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"

The spokeswoman said, "Her condition is assessed as serious, her temperature is up to 39 (Celsius)." However, she declined to confirm whether the 59-year-old leader was admitted to the hospital or provide further details.

First High-profile Politician to Contract COVID-19

Tymoshenko, who twice served as premier before her defeat in the 2010 presidential election, became the first high-profile Ukrainian politician known to have contracted COVID-19. Parliament has been on summer vacation since mid-July. Ukraine has experienced a sharp rise in infections this week, with a new 24-hour total of 2,328 cases reported on Saturday.

Yulia Tymoshenko
Yulia Tymoshenko Wikimedia Commons

The overall number of infections reached 104,958 along with 2,271 deaths. Tymoshenko rose to prominence as co-leader of Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004 in which pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko was confirmed as president after a court declared the election result to have been rigged in favor of his pro-Moscow foe.

Imprisonment and Release

She served twice as prime minister under Yushchenko before the two fell out after years of political turmoil. Tymoshenko ran for president in 2010 and lost to Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovich and in 2011 was sentenced to seven years in prison on abuse of office charges, which she denied, calling the accusations politically motivated.

She was freed from prison in early 2014 after Yanukovich was toppled in a popular uprising that put Ukraine on a path away from former Soviet master Moscow toward closer ties with the European Union and the United States.

(With inputs from agencies)