Profile: Yulia Tymoshenko
A heroine of Ukraine's Orange Revolution, Yulia Tymoshenko is serving seven years in jail after a controversial verdict on her actions as prime minister.
The glamorous, fiery orator who helped lead Ukraine's revolt against a corrupt election in 2004, was convicted of criminally exceeding her powers when she agreed a gas deal with Russia, seen to have disadvantaged Ukraine.
She has said the charges of abuse of power are a tissue of lies, inspired by the man she helped oust in 2004, Viktor Yanukovych - who returned to defeat her in the 2010 presidential election.
Her case has been taken up by the European Parliament and human rights activists. The EU is demanding her release as one of the conditions for signing an EU-Ukraine trade and partnership agreement next month.
She was jailed in 2011 and has been urging the authorities to transfer her to a German hospital so that doctors there can treat her chronic back pain.
In April this year the European Court of Human Rights ruled that her pre-trial detention had been "arbitrary and unlawful", though the judges did not rule on the legality of her actual conviction for the 2009 gas deal.
- 1960 - Born in Dnipropetrovsk, industrial city in eastern Ukraine
- Trained as engineer and economist
- 1990s - runs United Energy Systems of Ukraine and becomes very rich
- 1999-2001 serves in energy ministry but falls out with government of Leonid Kuchma
- 2004 - Kuchma candidate Viktor Yanukovych elected president, but result widely condemned as rigged
- Huge "Orange Revolution" street protests led by Tymoshenko and ally Viktor Yushchenko defeat Yanukovych, in a blow to Russia
- 2005 - Tymoshenko becomes PM but relations sour with President Yushchenko
- 2010 - Yanukovych beats her in presidential election
- 2011 - Jailed for seven years for abuse of power, over gas deal with Russia
They did not explicitly support her claim that her detention was politically motivated, nor did they accept her allegations of physical maltreatment and medical neglect in prison.
Tymoshenko also faces tax evasion charges dating back to her time as head of a private energy company in the 1990s. Her lawyers argue that the authorities want her to remain in jail for the rest of her life.
After her arrival at Lukyanivska prison, she suffered back problems. Tymoshenko's daughter Eugenia said she feared for her mother's life.
In late 2011 she was moved to a jail in the eastern city of Kharkiv. But her health problems continued and German doctors said she needed specialised medical care.
In 2012 she complained that she had been punched by prison guards as she resisted attempts to move her to a local hospital for treatment. She staged a temporary hunger strike over her prison treatment. The Ukrainian authorities dispute her version of events.
She remains under prison guard at a hospital in Kharkiv and German doctors have visited her.Bitter rivalry
It is a bitter reversal for Tymoshenko since the Orange Revolution days, when she and her ally Viktor Yushchenko packed the streets of Ukraine in protest at a rigged election that went in favour of the pro-Russian Mr Yanukovych.
The Supreme Court ruled in their favour, and the Orange alliance took power on a firmly pro-Western, anti-Russian platform.
But no sooner had they taken over, with Tymoshenko as prime minister and Mr Yushchenko as president, than their relationship turned bitter.
He sacked her later that year as she feuded with his party colleagues.
She was reappointed in September 2007 as the parties resurrected their alliance, but the constant political squabbling between the president and the prime minister continued.
Political paralysis prevented any effective handling of the global economic crisis, which hit Ukraine hard.
Voters seemed to lay much of the blame at Mr Yushchenko's door, and by the time of the 2010 presidential election, the Orange Revolution was consigned to history. Mr Yushchenko won less than 6% of the vote in the first round, coming fifth.
Tymoshenko, meanwhile, remained a front-runner, going through to the second round against Viktor Yanukovych.
But much of her previous popularity had evaporated in the intervening five years, and she was beaten.
Despite her protests that Mr Yanukovych's victory was rigged - again - this time international monitors gave the vote a clean bill of health.
She was then ousted by MPs from the post of prime minister, despite her best attempts to cling on.
Forced to go into opposition, she promised to make life for President Yanukovych as difficult as possible, declaring: "We will protect Ukraine from this new calamity that has befallen her."
But many analysts argue that the calamity came earlier, as Tymoshenko and her two main rivals bickered while the country's economy went into freefall.Successful tycoon
Her supporters see Yulia Tymoshenko as a glamorous revolutionary challenging a corrupt, macho political elite.
Her stinging attacks on the oligarchs who prospered under the pre-Orange Revolution administration of Leonid Kuchma boosted her popularity among many Ukrainians frustrated by years of economic stagnation and corruption.
But critics point out that she herself made a fortune in the energy sector in the 1990s.
She was born in 1960 in the industrial city of Dnipropetrovsk, in the mainly Russian-speaking east, which is now a stronghold of Mr Yanukovych.
She trained as an engineer and economist in the east and, when the Soviet Union broke up, sought to take advantage of the business opportunities that emerged.
In the mid-1990s she formed United Energy Systems of Ukraine, which helped supply gas to Ukraine's huge industrial base.
By some estimates, she became one of the richest people in Ukraine. She was nicknamed "the gas princess".
Like many tycoons in Ukraine, she sought to become involved in politics, and became part of Mr Yushchenko's government in 1999-2001, pushing through energy sector reforms.
But she fell out with then-President Leonid Kuchma, and after being held in prison for a month on corruption charges, she made it her goal to unseat him, launching a campaign that reached its climax in the Orange Revolution.