The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s interim government has issued an arrest warrant for ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, who is wanted in connection with the deaths of protesters in Kiev’s main square last week, acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a post published on his Facebook page.

“A criminal case has been initiated into mass murders of peaceful civilians,” Avakov wrote. “A warrant has been issued for the apprehension of Yanukovich and a number of other officials.”
Yanukovich’s movements in the last few days have been traced from Kiev to the Crimean Peninsula, Avakov said.

Yanukovich released part of his security detail and with the rest of his guards and in the company of his chief of staff, Andrei Klyuyev, “took off in an unknown direction, having switched off all channels of communication,” Avakov said. The area is close to the Belbek airport and near the Black Sea port of Balaklava, where some Russian navy vessels are stationed.

Yanukovich fled the capital Friday, the day after the worst violence in the history of post-Soviet Ukraine claimed dozens of lives, including at least 20 protesters killed by snipers. Hundreds more were injured. As his loyal riot police disappeared from the streets Thursday night fearing vengeance and prosecutions, Yanukovich also went into hiding, his whereabouts unknown.

In a video statement Saturday, a nervous-looking Yanukovich claimed that he still remained in power and was just taking a trip to the eastern regions, hitherto loyal to him, in order to decide what to do next. By the time the video surfaced on the Internet, however, Yanukovich had been officially deposed by parliament.

On Sunday, his own ruling party denounced him as a traitor. “We condemn Yanukovich’s flight and lack of guts, and we condemn treachery,” read a statement published Sunday on the Party of the Regions’ official website. “We condemn the criminal orders which set up ordinary people and police officers.”

Also on Sunday, parliament turned over presidential powers to its recently appointed speaker, opposition party leader Oleksander Turchinov.

Parliament also voted to nationalize Yanukovich’s opulent country estate in Mezhgorye, near Kiev. The takeover ended a longstanding dispute over who owned the 330-acre residence, estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Yanukovich allegedly bought the property from the state several years ago by way of front companies controlled by his family.

The opposition holds Yanukovich personally responsible for the carnage in Kiev’s central square last week. Leader Yulia Tymoshenko, released from prison Saturday, urged in her speech that night that her sworn enemy, “Yanukovich and his cronies,” be caught and delivered to Independence Square in front of the protesters.

Avakov’s statement did not appear on the Interior Ministry’s website Monday morning.

Photo: Sergei L. Loiko/Los Angeles Times/MCT

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Colbert Mocks Trump's Bad Toilet habits

Image via YouTube

The political world was rocked by the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-A-Lago residence, perhaps prompted by reports that he had flushed classified intelligence documents down the toilet. Not surprisingly, Late Show host Stephen Colbert found this image laughable if alarming. (Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman had revealed photos from a White House source revealing scraps of paper at the bottom of a toilet bowl.)

“To be fair, it’s unclear if those are official White House documents or his toilet’s suicide note,” Colbert noted, although the papers did appear to have Trump’s Sharpie handwriting, as well as the name “Stefanik” written on them -- as in Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).

Keep reading... Show less

Mehmet Oz

Youtube Screenshot

Mehmet Oz, the Republican nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, gave a confusing response about veterans' health care during an interview with a Pittsburgh radio station last week.

The station 90.5 WESA asked Oz about the PACT Act, which expands health care coverage for veterans exposed to toxins in the course of their service. The interview took place a few hours before recalcitrant Senate Republicans finally agreed to support the legislation.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}