Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, started medical treatment Friday at a hospital in Berlin, but doctors said they're unsure how the treatment will take.
Hospital chairman Karl Max Einhaeupl told The Associated Press that Tymoshenko, 53, needs an operation for severe back pain resulting from an injury two years ago.
Tymoshenko was released from a prison hospital on Feb. 22 after her rival, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, fled the capital of Kiev following months of protests.
Tymoshenko said she does not want to become prime minister again, but could be eyeing the presidency — a post temporarily held by Oleksander Turchynov.
If Tymoshenko requires surgery, her recovery time would be about four days and then require further rehabilitation, doctors said.
Although the former prime minister is not suffering paralysis, she requires a mobility aid to walk around, Einhaeupl said Saturday. Tymoshenko greeted supporters from a wheelchair when she was released from prison two weeks ago.
SUZANNE PLUNKETT / Reuters
Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko acknowledges applause as she takes the stage with her daughter Yevgenia before speaking at the European People's Party (EPP) Elections Congress in Dublin March 6, 2014.
First published March 8 2014, 8:03 AM