Things are moving swiftly along in Ukraine. Yulia Tymoshenko, the opposition leader and former prime minister who was freed from prison yesterday, spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel by phone today.
According to a statement, Merkel "congratulated Yulia Tymoshenko on her release and expressed the certainty that her return to mainstream politics would become one of the main factors in stabilizing the situation in Ukraine." As symbolic endorsements go, the leader of the most powerful country in the European Union is a pretty big deal for budding new leadership in Ukraine.
Tymoshenko, through a party statement, also announced that she would be meeting with Merkel soon, but later followed the statement up with this announcement.
#BREAKING Tymoshenko says not seeking Ukraine prime minister's post— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) February 23, 2014
In the meantime, her former aide and vice premier Oleksandr Turchynov was named interim president today, a move made possible by his selection as the replacement speaker of the Ukrainian parliament yesterday.
Life for the ousted president Viktor Yanukovich didn't get any easier today. His own party distanced themselves from Yanukovich and blamed him for the recent bloodshed, in which 88 people were killed. His whereabouts are unknown, but in the Western part of the country, he remains a wanted man.
Meanwhile, demonstrators continued to amass in Independence Square in Kiev.