Obama’s Absence Signals Passivity

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obama-asia-emptychairThe United Nations Security Council will be holding a closed door meeting for the second consecutive day to discuss the current situation in Ukraine.

The President of the Security Council said informal consultations among council members would begin at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) Saturday. The council also held closed door consultations on Friday at the request of Ukraine’s U.N. Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev who referred to “the deterioration of the situation” in the Crimean Peninsula which he said “threatens the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

Russia’s parliament on Saturday approved a motion to use the country’s military in Ukraine after a request from President Vladimir Putin. Ukraine has already accused Russia of “a military invasion and occupation” of strategic points in the Crimean peninsula, a Ukrainian territory where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.

BREAKING: Ukraine’s New Leaders Order Arrest of President Yanukovych

February 23, 2014: People paint on the KGB officers monument in Kiev, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

February 23, 2014: People paint on the KGB officers monument in Kiev, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

Ukraine’s acting interior minister announced Monday that an arrest warrant had been issued for that country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych.

In a statement on his official Facebook page, Arsen Avakhov wrote that Yanukovych and several other officials were wanted on charges of “mass killing of civilians” in violence that engulfed Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev, earlier this week. At least 82 people, most of them protesters, were killed in clashes with members of the police and security forces. Some of the dead were shot by snipers in strategic positions overlooking the main protest camp in Kiev’s Independence Square.

“We must find Yanukovych and put him on trial….All the criminals with him should be in prison.”

— protester Leonid Shovtak

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.

Avakhov said Yanukovych arrived in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsular region of Crimea on Sunday and relinquished his official security detail before driving off to an unknown location.

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