According to anti-government forces in Kiev, Ukraine, President Yanukovych has fled the capital. Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said that he left the capital, however other officials are saying there’s reason to believe Yanukovych has actually left the country.
He leaves on the heels of allegedly signing an agreement that was meant to bring an end to the worst violence in the nation’s history. Not since Ukraine first became a nation had so many lives been lost. This week alone saw nearly 100 people die and hundreds more injured.
The bloody carnage was enough for Western powers to begin a move towards sanctioning the troubled nation. With Ukraine’s already devastated economy, such a course of action could have been disastrous. Meanwhile Russia had previously condemned the interference of Western powers, having already signed an economic agreement separately with Ukraine.
Despite the peace agreement that Yanukovych is said to have made, anti-government protesters refuse to abandon their stronghold in Independence Square at the heart of Kiev.
— WIRED (@WIRED) February 22, 2014
It has been their refuge since late November when Yanukovych first moved towards a political and economic union with Russia while walking away from talks with the European Union. The act outraged millions of Ukrainian citizens and saw hundreds of thousands storm the capital city in protest. Over time protests spread to much of Western Ukraine.
As security forces attempted to crack down on the protesters, they fought back. These clashes turned increasingly violent in recent weeks.
The protesters continue to demand Yanukovych’s resignation despite his current absence.
The Ukrainian parliament is seen as the “only legitimate power” in the country at the moment, and Yanukovych’s ruling party, the Regions Party, has already seen dozens of lawmakers resign and defect to other parties. The party that once controlled almost half of all votes is left shattered.
President Yanukovych’s location remains unknown.
— Ahmad Debbas (@afdebbas) February 22, 2014
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