Ukraine ex-leader Tymoshenko's back pain improving

BERLIN (AP) — German doctors treating Yulia Tymoshenko say the former Ukrainian prime minister's chronic back pain has improved after four days of treatment and may not require surgery.

Berlin's Charite hospital said in a statement Tuesday that Tymoshenko has responded well to injections at the site of the affected nerves.

The 53-year-old suffered three slipped discs while imprisoned on what Western governments considered politically motivated charges of corruption.

She was freed last month after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych fled Ukraine.

The hospital says doctors are waiting to see whether the improvement lasts before deciding on a possible operation, and Tymoshenko agrees with this approach.

Tymoshenko holds no post in Ukraine's new government but is believed to wield behind-the-scenes influence. She has expressed interest in running for president in Ukraine's May 25 election.

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