KIEV, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko late Saturday urged protestors to continue their encampment in Kiev's Independence Square after her release from prison.
"You are heroes, you are the best thing in Ukraine!" the opposition icon said in a touching speech to a 50,000-strong crowd in the square, known in Ukrainian as the Maidan.
"In no case do you have the right to leave the Maidan until you have concluded everything that you planned to do," she said, sitting in a wheelchair due to a back problem.
The Independence Square, where a sprawling protest tent camp was set up in December, has been the center stage for the past three months of anti-government demonstration in Ukraine, whose latest escalation has claimed dozens of lives.
In a dramatic turnabout in Ukraine's political chaos, the parliament voted on Saturday to dismiss President Viktor Yanukovych from his office and set early elections, a day after he made concessions to his pro-European opponents in a European-mediated peace deal.
The parliament also ordered the release of Yanukovych's arch-rival Tymoshenko, who walked free from a prison facility Saturday night to join supporters in Kiev.
Tymoshenko, a key opposition leader, was convicted in October 2011 of abuse of power over a 2009 gas deal with Russia.
She was also charged with embezzling an estimated 405 million U.S. dollars and evading tax worth more than 87,000 dollars in the 1990s.
The 53-year-old opposition leader, who is receiving medical treatment in a state hospital in Kharkov city in eastern Ukraine, has denied all the charges, saying they are politically motivated.