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Dec. 20 2011 - 00:12

Video of Yulia Tymoshenko In Prison Bed Causes Storm

A frame from footage of Yulia Tymoshenko lying in her prison bed.

A frame from footage of Yulia Tymoshenko lying in her prison bed.

KIEV — A political storm broke out in Ukraine over a video showing jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko angrily protesting being filmed against her will while lying in her prison bed.

The video clip, which spread like wildfire around social networking sites after being aired on a Ukrainian TV channel last week, shows the former prime minister waving her arms in anger at a man in a room in the prison's medical wing.

Serhiy Vlasenko, Tymoshenko's lawyer, denounced the filming as the work of "animals."

The video clip was one of two aired with the apparent aim of showing that Tymoshenko was being well treated and living in conditions akin to those of a good hotel.

Her family and lawyer say her health in prison is deteriorating and she is suffering skin problems and serious back pain requiring treatment and physiotherapy.

In the video, prison guards are actively helping the cameraman shoot the film, even holding back a keyhole cover into the room for him.

Tymoshenko, 51, who was mostly covered by bedclothes, was clearly unhappy at being filmed, though her words were not audible.

In another part of the footage, which showed a well-furnished room with a refrigerator, Tymoshenko can be heard saying: "I was being kept before in unacceptable conditions, and I don't want you to show this false picture now."

Prison officials said they did not know where the video had come from.

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