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Ukraine: Opposition Leader Injured In Car Accident

Kyiv, 29 January 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Ukrainian opposition leader Yuliya Tymoshenko was seriously injured in a car crash in Kyiv today. Officials in her Fatherland Party said Tymoshenko was on her way to a court hearing in Kyiv when a small car ran a red light and struck the luxury car she was riding in. They said she had head and chest injuries and was brought to a hospital by ambulance. Reuters news agency quotes an unnamed party spokesman as saying the injuries are not life threatening. Police confirmed the accident but gave no details.

Tymoshenko intended to ask the court to overturn a ban on travelling outside Kyiv, which impedes her campaigning for the 31 March parliamentary elections.

The ban was imposed last year after Tymoshenko was charged with fraud and bribery related to her time as head of a private gas trading firm in the mid-1990s. She denies the charges and calls them politically motivated.