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When he was trying to calm a crowd during a January street protest, he was caught cursing at demonstrators who scuffled with him. He also has been videotaped cursing at reporters who intently challenge and question him.

Even Mr. Klitschko acknowledges he is not polished.

“When I started my political career, public speeches were tough for me,” he told a radio interviewer late last year. “The key thing is to speak from your heart.”

Despite the outbursts, Mr. Klitschko last month was among a group of Ukrainian opposition figures chosen to journey to Berlin with new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel for aid from the European Union. He apparently impressed delegates on the mission.

“Victory for Ukraine means a modern European state with stable institutions,” he said, delivering comments in articulate German during a press conference. “It is in the interests of the European Union that Ukraine is political and economically stable because instability in Ukraine can lead to instability in the whole region.”

Luigi Serenelli in Berlin contributed to this report.