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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Russia sends warship with ‘special cargo’ to Syria

A Russian warship is moored in the Cypriot port of Limassol, on May 17, 2013 (AFP/File, Yiannis Kourtoglou)

(AFP/File, Yiannis Kourtoglou)

MOSCOW — A Russian warship carrying “special cargo” will be dispatched toward Syria, a navy source said on Friday, as the Kremlin beefs up its presence in the region ahead of possible US strikes against the Damascus regime.

The large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov will on Friday leave the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol for the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, from where it will head to Syria’s coast, the Interfax news agency quoted a source from the Saint Petersburg-based central naval command as saying. Read the rest of this entry »