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Ukraine Issues Arrest Warrant For Yanukovych

From the Associated Press:

Ukraine: arrest warrant for President Yanukovych

By YURAS KARMANAU and MARIA DANILOVA | February 24, 2014

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule.

Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial, after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and cracked down on protesters. Anger boiled over last week after snipers attacked protesters in the bloodiest violence in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history.

The turmoil has turned this strategically located country of 46 million inside out over the past few days, raising fears that it could split apart. The parliament speaker is suddenly nominally in charge of a country whose economy is on the brink of default and whose loyalties are torn between Europe and longtime ruler Russia.

The acting finance minister said Monday that the country needs $35 billion (25.5 billion euros) to finance government needs this year and next and expressed hope that Europe or the United States would help.

Naturally.

Ukraine’s acting interior minister, Arsen Avakhov, said on his official Facebook page Monday that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Yanukovych and several other officials for the "mass killing of civilians." At least 82 people, primarily protesters, were killed in clashes in Kiev last week.

Avakhov says Yanukovych arrived in Crimea on Sunday, relinquished his official security detail and then drove off to an unknown location, turning off all forms of communication. "Yanukovych has disappeared," he said.

Earlier, after signing an agreement Friday with the opposition to end a conflict that had turned deadly, Yanukovych had fled the capital of Kiev for eastern Ukraine. Avakhov said he tried to fly out of Donetsk but was stopped, then went to Crimea…

Per capita economic output is only around $7,300, even adjusted for the lower cost of living there, compared to $22,200 in Poland and around $51,700 in the United States. Ukraine ranks 137th worldwide, behind El Salvador, Namibia, and Guyana.

Which is outrageous, given that Ukraine is the breadbasket of the region.

But the US news media is in a quandary over how to cover the Ukrainian revolution. On the one hand they want to make it about ‘East versus West.’ But then they would have to talk about the people wanting to throw off the shackles of totalitarian socialism. Because that sounds a little too close to home. So they move on to it being all about corruption.

And it’s certainly true that this is also about the Ukrainians rising up against a very corrupt administration. An administration that gave money to its cronies. An administration that lived extravagantly off the backs of the taxpayers. An administration that got deeply in debt to foreign countries. An administration that took more and more and more power, and ruled against the express will of its people.

An administration that turned the country into a place where too many people are over-taxed and too many people are unemployed. A country where too many people now live in fear, poverty, and hopelessness. A country where the people had come to fear and hate its deceitful, corrupt administration. — So you can see why the news media don’t want to go down that road, either. Because that also sounds a little too close to home.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, February 24th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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