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Tymoshenko ‘moved to hospital’

Ambulance presumed to be carrying Yulia Tymoshenko parked outside Kharkiv hospital entranceHospital staff gathered round the ambulance which arrived as part of a large convoy

Jailed Ukraine opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko has arrived at a hospital in Kharkiv to be treated for back pain by a German doctor, reports say.

Eyewitnesses said Tymoshenko, a former PM, was taken to a side entrance of the hospital in a heavily guarded convoy.

She has been on hunger strike after accusing prison guards of beating her during an earlier attempt to move her to hospital.

Concern over her treatment has caused diplomatic tensions within the EU.

Ukraine on Tuesday postponed a European summit after several leaders announced a boycott over the issue.

There is also a threat that leaders may stay away from Euro 2012 football matches in Ukraine next month.

Specialised treatment

Two lines of hospital staff shielded Ms Tymoshenko as she was carried into hospital on a stretcher, while supporters shouted “Freedom for Yulia”, according to Reuters news agency.

She suffers from a debilitating back condition, and has lost 10kg (22lbs) while on hunger strike, according to her daughter, Yevgenia Tymoshenko.

People standing outside the hospital in Kharkiv on May 9, 2012A crowd gathered outside the hospital to watch

Yulia Tymoshenko’s supporters released photographs in April showing bruises on her body.

They say they were inflicted by prison staff when she resisted attempts to move her to hospital to be treated by Ukrainian medics.

The authorities deny that prison staff were responsible.

Ms Tymoshenko had requested that she be treated abroad, with German doctors saying she needed specialised treatment.

Yevgenia Tymoshenko said yesterday that her mother had now agreed to be treated by a German doctor, Lutz Harms, and that she would also end her hunger strike under his supervision.

Yulia Tymoshenko was jailed for seven years in October for abuse of power during her time as prime minister.

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