Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko sees her country’s desire to join the EU as the reason for Russia’s war of aggression. “We are the only country that pays with the lives of its citizens and with their blood for the desire to return to their European homeland,” she told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” on Friday. “It’s not a new goal for Ukrainians. They have long since clearly stated their will to become part of Europe again. That is why Putin started the war.”

Tymoshenko has twice been Prime Minister of Ukraine. She became internationally known in 2004 – at that time with a braided fringe of hair – as the face of the pro-Western Orange Revolution. Tymoshenko has also been in prison twice. In 2019, the politician ran for the third time in the presidential election in Ukraine, but was defeated in the first ballot.

She knows about the problems in her country. “I accept that we must fight corruption, but I protest when it is used as an excuse not to give the candidate status the green light,” said the 61-year-old.

In the newspaper interview, Tymoshenko rejected the creation of a new political community in which Ukraine could find a place: “We don’t want a replacement. We do not want a special European ghetto to be created for Ukraine,” she said.