Acting Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine stated that the ex-President Viktor Yanukovich has been declared wanted on criminal charges, Interfax reported on Feb. 24.
"I am announcing this morning that a criminal case was filed on mass murder of civilians. Yanukovich and several other officials are declared wanted," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Avakov pointed out that, Yanukovich together with Head of the President's administration Andrei Klyuyev left Balaklava for an unknown location in three cars- turning off all forms of communication.
Yanukovich and Klyuyev flew from Kiev to Kharkov in helicopters on Feb. 21., intending to participate at the Congress of the Party of the Regions MPs in Kharkov on Feb. 22, spending the night in state residency in Kharkov they flew in helicopters to Donetsk Airport, Avakov said.
"On arrival at Donetsk airport, [Yanukovich] together with bodyguards from helicopters moved to private Falcon type aircraft and tried to fly. Border Service prevented the flight .Whereupon, Yanukovich left for the state residency in Donetsk, where he spent a few hours. Late evening on Feb. 22, Yanukovich's motorcade left the Crimea without police accompaniment," acting head of the ministry reported.
Yanukovich arrived in the Crimea on Feb. 23. "Staying in one of the private nursing facility, deliberately ignored governmental specialized facilities, including - specialized presidential country house. Learning about the Parliament's decision on appointment of A.V.Turchinov as acting Ukrainian President and the flight of newly appointed heads of the Interior Ministry and Security Service of Ukraine to Crimea, Yanukovich hastily left the sanatorium for Belbek airport, at which time with Nalivaychenko [the curator of Security service of Ukraine] we were waiting," acting head of the ministry said.
"Yanukovich did not reach Belbek airport, rather he arrived at a private residence near Balaklava at 23:50 [local time]. He asked gathering security, "who will accompany me further " and " who will remain here? ". Part of the presidential security employees expressed their willingness "to stay." Yanukovich bid a farewell to them and gave an official denial to the State Guard. The employees who did not follow him took all the state weapons and transferred them to the Crimean branch of the Management of the state protection of Ukraine," the acting Minister of Internal Affairs said , noting thereafter, the former president left for an undisclosed location .
The mass protests in Ukraine began on November 21, 2013, when the government announced the suspension of the preparation of an Association Agreement with the EU.
Large-scale street riots resumed in Kiev on February 18, 2014. The belligerent crowd tried to come close to the parliament of Ukraine and radicals broke into the building in the centre of Kiev, burned tyres and threw stones at cars and police officers. The opposition used firearms for the first time, according to the police. Some 80 people were killed and over 600 injured as a result of the riots.
Negotiations to settle the conflict in Ukraine were held in Kiev on Feb.21. Later a relevant agreement was signed between President Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leaders.
On Feb.22, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament of Ukraine) violating the reached agreements and without waiting for the president to sign the law to a return of the 2004 Constitution, made a decision to change the basic law and sacked the parliamentary leaders, Interior Ministry, Defence Ministry and the country's Security Service.
Yanukovych's interview to journalists in Kharkov was published on Feb.22, in which he stated that he remains the legally elected head of state and is not going to resign, while the country has all the signs of a coup d'état. Yanukovych also said that the decisions now being adopted by the Verkhovna Rada are 'illegal'. The Rada voted for a resolution on the transfer of powers of the president of Ukraine to speaker Turchinov until presidential elections on May 25.
Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N