Ukraine's Tymoshenko responding to treatment: German clinic

Ukraine's former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, has experienced some relief from debilitating back pain since arriving in Germany for care last week, the hospital treating her said Tuesday.

Tymoshenko, a leader of the pro-Western Orange Revolution in 2004, suffers from herniated discs and underwent medical examinations at Berlin's renowned Charite university hospital after landing on Saturday.

Hospital spokesman Uwe Dolderer said that following injections to her vertebral joints and the affected nerves, Tymoshenko had experienced a "clear improvement of her chronic pain".

No decision on whether she will need an operation has yet been taken, he added in a statement, noting that the course of treatment would depend on the continued effectiveness of the injections.

"The patient herself, who had at first preferred an operation, agreed to the approach of the Charite doctors after the clear alleviation of her pain," he said.

Tymoshenko, 53, was freed from prison on February 23, having served three years of a seven-year sentence for abuse of power, a charge she always denied.

Immediately after her release, she appeared in a wheelchair in Kiev's Independence Square to deliver a stirring speech to protesters in Ukraine's capital.

Tymoshenko's relationship with the Berlin hospital goes back several years.

A team of its doctors were given permission to examine her in April 2012 while she was imprisoned, although their recommendation to treat her in Germany was never accepted by Kiev.

Tymoshenko met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week on the sidelines of a European People's Party congress in Dublin.

Separately, Ukrainians injured during unrest in central Kiev are due in Germany for treatment Wednesday.

The German military said it would fly 24 patients to hospitals in the cities of Berlin, Ulm and Koblenz.