A little more than three months after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych failed to sign a pact with the European Union, he is now a wanted man.
Yanukovych likely never imagined how quickly things would change for him and his government after he followed through with his pro-Russia agenda to strengthen ties with Moscow.
After the startling decision was made in late November, thousands of Ukrainian citizens took to the streets of Kiev, eventually setting up a stronghold in Independence Square. In the weeks since, protests have spread to cities throughout Ukraine.
For them the way forward was Europe; Yanukovych and his policies were grasping for a Soviet Union-influenced past that these anti-government protesters were desperate to never again be part of.
After weeks of increasingly violent clashes, Yanukovych found that he could not suppress the anti-government movement. The loss of nearly a hundred lives over the past week was distressing to the international community, which condemned the violence and moved towards sanctions.
The determined protesters made a bold push over the weekend and before Yanukovych knew it, he was forced to flee the capital. Some reports claim that Yanukovych unsuccessfully attempted to leave the country.
Nice! He must be arrested! Ukraine: warrant out for Viktor Yanukovych's arrest, says interior minister http://t.co/glPJKTQMeS
— Michel-Rémi Lafond (@mrlafond) February 24, 2014
Karma. Nab him. BBC News – Ukraine arrest warrant for fugitive Viktor Yanukovych http://t.co/mIM4VwO2zt
— TheClaireBear (@theclairebear23) February 24, 2014
From a pro-Russian stronghold in eastern Ukraine, Yanukovych is claiming a “coup” has occurred and that the Ukrainian parliament is passing legislation, such as a call for a May 25th election, that is unconstitutional.
The body is undeterred by Ukrainian leader’s harsh words. Emboldened by their new-found power, the new government has even issued a warrant for Yanukovych’s arrest.
According to a Facebook update made by Ukraine’s acting interior minister, Arsen Avakhov, Yanukovych and several others are sought in connection with dozens of deaths that have occurred due to crackdowns on protesters. There have been numerous calls for Yanukovych to stand trial as a party directly responsible for the bloodshed.
Yanukovych’s last known whereabouts is said to be the area of Crimea. It’s unlikely that that the ousted leader will voluntarily hand himself in.
Image via YouTube