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Ukraine issues arrest warrant for ousted President Vicktor Yanukovich

Ukraine issues arrest warrant for ousted President Vicktor Yanukovich
Wikipedia, February 2007
Monday, February 24, 2014 - 4:49am

Authorities in Ukraine have issued an arrest warrant for ousted President Vicktor Yanukovych, saying he is wanted for the "mass killings" of civilians.

But arresting him has proven to be tricky, since no one knows where Yanukovych is.

Over the weekend, he had fled to Kharkiv, a pro-Russian stronghold near the border. And he had tried to board a charter plane in the eastern city of Donetsk -- but was turned away because he didn't have documents.

But by Monday, his whereabouts -- and those of his two top ministers -- were unknown.

It was just one of many dizzying developments that's engulfed Ukraine, since parliament voted to oust Yanukovych as a concession to relentless protests that led to the deadliest violence Ukraine suffered since its independence 22 years ago.

For now, parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov will take over Yanukovych's duties.

He has promised a new interim government by Tuesday, and new elections in May.

But several challenges await, most notably how Russia will react.

It was Yanukovych's decision to scrap a European Union trade deal in favor of one with Russia that prompted the protests in November.

Now, the country's new leaders have made clear that Kiev's return to European integration would be a priority. But in doing so, they risk losing the largess Kremlin had bestowed on Yanukovych.

Taking no chances, interim Finance Minister Yury Kolobov proposed Monday that an international donor conference be held in the next two weeks. Ukraine, he said, will need $35 billion in foreign assistance by the end of 2015. 

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