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Ukrainian weather forecast gets political

KIEV, Ukraine — A weather forecaster for Ukrainian state radio has caused something of a storm herself by veering from meteorological to political observations.

Lyudmila Savchenko was taken off the air after telling listeners last week that warm spring days and blooming flowers were Ukrainians' compensation "for the disorder, lawlessness and injustice that are taking place in our country." She also suggested that authorities felt disdain for the Ukrainian people.

Now, the country's top opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko, is calling Savchenko a hero. The opposition faction in parliament is urging the National Radio Company to reinstate her, and even pro-government parliament speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn says he supports the call.

President Viktor Yanukovych's office declined to comment on the matter.

But Roman Chaikovsky, deputy head of the National Radio Company, said Savchenko clearly went over the line. "When a person talks about the weather, they should talk about the weather," he said.

Savchenko admits her comments may have been inappropriate for a weather report, but said she wanted her views to be heard.

Savchenko is an employee of the national weather center, whose chief, Mykola Kulbida, said he doesn't plan to take action against her.

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