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Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko (file photo)

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has tested positive for the coronavirus and is in serious condition with a fever, her party's spokeswoman said on August 23.

Marina Soroka, a spokeswoman for the Fatherland Party, confirmed that the 59-year-old Tymoshenko is ill, saying on Facebook, “Yes, unfortunately, it’s correct,” adding that she is "fighting" with a temperature of 39 degrees. She did not say whether Tymoshenko had been hospitalized.

Tymoshenko is the first high-profile Ukrainian politician known to have contracted COVID-19.

Ukraine experienced a sharp rise in coronavirus infections this week. On August 22 the country reported a 24-hour total of 2,328 new cases, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 107,379, including 2,313 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Tymoshenko rose to prominence as co-leader of Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004 amid widespread protests against corruption and election rigging.

Tymoshenko ran for president in 2010 and lost to Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych and was imprisoned from 2011 to 2014 on abuse-of-office charges that the international community widely condemned as politically motivated.

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

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa