KIEV, Ukraine — Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko signaled in an emotional televised address Friday that she was joining the opposition to President Viktor Yushchenko, her comrade in arms in last year's "Orange Revolution." The move is a huge setback for Yushchenko, who sacked Tymoshenko on Thursday. She could become a formidable opponent in parliamentary elections just six months away.
"Today we are two different teams," said Tymoshenko. "I think these two teams will go their own way."
Yushchenko's firing of Tymoshenko's 7-month-old government amid allegations of corruption deepened a crisis that has diminished the popularity of the man whose dioxin poisoning and defiant stand against election fraud seized the world's attention last year.
Tymoshenko controls 41 of the 450 seats in Ukraine's parliament; Yushchenko's faction holds 96.
She blamed the circle around Yushchenko for her dismissal and the breakup of their union.
"I am sure it is not the president, it is his team," she said. Still, she accused Yushchenko of turning against her in favor of corrupt allies.
Yushchenko said Tymoshenko's government had become embroiled in internal bickering.