by Tony Iozzo
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
KIEV, Ukraine – The former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, is wanted by police for the “mass murder of peaceful citizens”, according to a warrant announced on Monday.
Arsen Avakov, the Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister, announced the issue of the arrest warrant. This comes two days after Yanukovich fled the capital city of Kiev on Saturday, after the country’s Parliament voted to oust him from the executive seat.
“A criminal case has been launched over the mass murder of peaceful civilians. Yanukovich and a number of other officials have been put on a wanted list,” Avakov announced via Facebook on Monday. According to the latest reports, Yanukovich has last been seen at a private home in Baclava, Crimea. However, conflicting reports have led to widespread confusion over Yanukovich’s current location.
Ukraine’s parliament voted to oust Yanukovich and temporarily transfer the duties of President to Oleksander Turchinov, who is the speaker of the assembly.
A conflict between an alliance with Russia and cooperation with the European Union has permeated the Ukrainian government for years. Turchinov stated on Sunday that the Ukraine was ready for discussions with Russia to attempt to improve relations, but made clear that Kiev’s European integration would remain a priority. Turchinov stated that Ukraine’s new administration was ready to bring Kiev-Moscow relations to a “new, equal and good-neighborly footing that recognizes and takes into account Ukraine’s European choice.” “Another priority … is the return to the path of European integration,” Turchinov stated in an address to the country.
Turchinov stated on Monday that the presidential election campaign would begin on Tuesday, February 25, when the election commission would start registering candidates.
The Ukranian Parliament also had voted to oust the country’s foreign minister and was told by the Ukraine’s acting prosecutor that an order had been given to detain the former incomes minister and the former prosecutor-general.
The country’s capital of Kiev was calm on Sunday, a mere one day after protesters took control of the presidential administration building, and thousands of Ukrainians roamed the suddenly open grounds of the lavish compound just outside of Kiev, where Yanukovich was believed to live.
For more information, please see:
Al Jazeera – Yanukovich Wanted for “Mass Murder” in Kiev – 24 February 2014
BBC News – Ukraine Crisis: Russia Brands New Leaders “Mutineers” – 24 February 2014
Kyiv Post – Ousted Yanukovich Flees to Unknown Location as Acting Authorities Accuse Him of Mass Murder – 24 February 2014
New York Times – Acting Officials in Ukraine Seek Stability and Ousted Leader – 24 February 2014