WASHINGTON -- Jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has issued a written appeal calling on Western governments to "help break the grip of the dictatorship [in Ukraine] before sham elections give it unquestioned control."
Tymoshenko's daughter, Yevhenia, read excerpts of the appeal to the press on Thursday at the Washington office of law firm Wiley Rein, which represents the former Orange Revolution leader in the United States. She said the appeal had been distributed to Western leaders and parliamentarians.
Tymoshenko wrote that it would be "too late" for democracy in Ukraine if parliamentary elections set for late October allow President Viktor Yanukovych to further consolidate power.
Yevhenia Tymoshenko also thanked the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for visa bans on officials responsible for her mother's "politically motivated" imprisonment.