The German doctors treating Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko have said her health is improving. But they are skeptical that she will be able to heal in the Kharkiv hospital where she is being held.
Tymoshenko's health had improved slightly, though she wasn't entirely free of pain, the head of Berlin's Charite hospital, Karl Max Einhäupl, told reporters on Tuesday in the German capital. Her treatment was proving to be difficult due to the conditions under which she was being held.
"We are never alone with her," Einhäupl said, lamenting that Tymoshenko was under constant surveillance.
He said surveillance cameras were covered up during treatment by her German doctors, but that Tymoshenko feared hidden cameras continued to monitor them.
The former prime minister was now able to get out of bed several times a day, which was an improvement, Einhäupl said.
He indicated, however, that he was skeptical she would be well enough to take part in her second trial, which continues in late June.
In the most recent visit by a German doctor, a neurologist from Charite travelled to Kharkiv on Saturday to treat the former prime minister.
Tymoshenko is being treated by doctors from Charite for a slipped disc. The German government had tried in vain to convince Ukraine to allow her to be sent to Berlin for medical care. She had refused to accept treatment from Ukrainian doctors. She continues to harbor a deep suspicion of the Ukrainian authorities, which complicates her care, Einhäupl said.
"The main problem is the mistrust that Ms. Tymoshenko has of [Ukraine's] doctors," he said, adding that from a medical perspective that was completely understandable. She had received inadequate care for nearly seven months, he said.
Tymoshenko is sitting out a seven-year jail term for abuse of power during her term as Ukraine's premier. In the West, her trial and conviction were viewed as being politically motivated.
ncy/mz (DAPD, Reuters, dpa)