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Yushchenko: Regime in Ukraine in its Last Days

Ukrainian opposition leader Victor Yushchenko says the people of Ukraine have already made the choice for a new country, as he prepares to resume campaigning for a re-run of presidential elections later this month.

A choir from the Crimea greeted the Ukrainian opposition leader in the hospital where he was treated.

Mr. Yushchenko, whose wife, Katya, translated his remarks into English, said a new Ukraine is emerging.

"I want to tell you, over the last three weeks, you have seen a different country, a different nation," he said. "The regime that was in place for 14 years in the Ukraine is now living its last days."

Mr. Yushchenko compared the recent events in the Ukraine with the scenes that accompanied the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. He said the country had not seen such protests in more than 100 years.

Mr. Yushchenko said, during the demonstrations, old and young had shown that the choice had already been made for a new country, in which the people would stand up to defend their rights.

On Saturday, doctors at the Vienna clinic confirmed the politician's lingering illness was the result of dioxin poisoning.

Dr. Michael Zimpfer told reporters that Mr. Yushchenko was physically fit enough to fight his election campaign, and that his condition is not contagious. He said it was a complicated illness to track down, because routine forensic tests at first showed no evidence of poisoning.

But Dr. Zimpfer said new research had made it possible to confirm without any doubt that the illness was caused by dioxin poisoning.

The case will now be treated as a criminal matter by the authorities in the Ukraine.