Kiev (MunichNOW News/dpa) – Yulia Tymoshenko was the heroine of the 2004 pro-Western Orange Revolution in Ukraine. But the two-time former prime minister was convicted in 2011 of abuse of power in connection with a gas deal with Russia.

She was freed from prison in Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine Saturday after parliament voted for her release.
In this image made from video released by the Regional Administration of Kharkiv and distributed by AP Video, Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine,  speaks in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Protesters took control of Ukraine's capital Saturday, seizing the president's office as parliament voted to remove him and hold new elections.  Yanukovych described the events as a coup and insisted he would not step down. After a tumultuous week that left scores dead and Ukraine's political destiny in flux, fears mounted that the country could split in two ¿ a Europe-leaning west and a Russian-leaning east and south.  (AP Photo / Regional Administration of Kharkiv)
In this image made from video released by the Regional Administration of Kharkiv and distributed by AP Video, Viktor Yanukovych, President of Ukraine, speaks in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Protesters took control of Ukraine’s capital Saturday, seizing the president’s office as parliament voted to remove him and hold new elections. Yanukovych described the events as a coup and insisted he would not step down. After a tumultuous week that left scores dead and Ukraine’s political destiny in flux, fears mounted that the country could split in two ¿ a Europe-leaning west and a Russian-leaning east and south. (AP Photo / Regional Administration of Kharkiv)

A timeline of the Tymoshenko case:

— March 2010: Tymoshenko resigns after a vote of no confidence in parliament. Deputies accuse her of abuse of power and signing an overpriced deal to buy natural gas from Russia.

— June 2011: She goes on trial in Kiev. Supporters and opponents brawl in the courtroom and on the streets.

— October 2011: The court sentences her to seven years in prison. There is international condemnation of the verdict. The European Union calls off a meeting with Tymoshenko arch-rival President Viktor Yanukovych.

— December 2011: Tymoshenko is moved to a women’s prison in Kharkiv, 450 kilometres east of Kiev.

— February 2012: The opposition leader, complaining of severe back pain, is examined by German and Canadian doctors. They diagnose a slipped disc.

— April 2012: Tymoshenko begins a hunger strike in protest at her treatment by the Kharkiv prison staff.

— May 2012: A planned meeting of European presidents in Yalta is called off after several make clear that they will not be attending because of the Tymoshenko issue.

— June 2012: The Euro 2012 football tournament begins in Poland and Ukraine. Some European Union politicians decline to attend games in Ukraine.

— July 2012: The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rules that Ukraine violated the rights of a jailed Tymoshenko ally, former interior minister Yuri Lutsenko, and orders Ukraine to pay damages.

— August 2012: The same European Court hears Tymoshenko’s complaint about her detention and prison conditions.

— January 2013: Tymoshenko is named a suspect in the long-dormant 1996 contract murder case of Ukrainian politician and businessman Yvhen Scherban.

— February 2013: EU leaders give Yanukovych a May deadline to show “tangible progress” on democratic reforms.

— April 2013: Yanukoych pardons Lutsenko, but says it is too early to consider pardoning Timoshenko.

— April 2013: The European Court of Human Rights rules that Tymoshenko’s pre-trial detention was unlawful but rejects her claim that she is being denied adequate health care.

— November 2013: Draft legislation that would have allowed Tymoshenko to leave Ukraine for treatment in Germany fails to get enough votes in parliament. EU politicans had made her release a key demand for an association agreement with Ukraine.

— November 2013 – February 2014 – Yanukovych scraps EU association agreement and takes up closer relations with Russia, triggering massive anti-government demonstrations triggered. In recent violence related to the conflict, at least 77 people – mainly opposition supporters – were killed.

— February 22, 2014: Ukraine’s parliament votes for Tymoshenko’s immediate release. Several hours later, Tymoshenko leaves the prison hospital where she was being treated for back problems headed for Kiev.

Editors Note: Watch for our original reporting on where this crisis is headed in a feature article to be posted on Sunday afternoon, 23 February 2014.