A WARRANT has been issued by Ukraine's interior ministry for the
arrest of the country's President, Victor Yanukovych, for the "mass
murder of peaceful citizens" after a week of violence which
resulted in 80 deaths and more than 600 injuries (News, 21
The exact whereabouts of Mr Yanukovych are unknown. Some reports
suggest that he is being protected by Russian marines in the Crimea
region. He has refused to stand down, despite being deposed by the
country's parliament at the weekend.
The Speaker of Ukraine's Parliament, Oleksandr Turchyno, has
been appointed Interim President, and efforts are under way to
create a government of national unity.
The protests started last November, after the pro-Russian Mr
Yanukovych vetoed a Ukrainian/EU trade-deal. They culminated in a
week of violence last week, in which live rounds were fired at
protesters in Independence Square, in Kiev.
The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, told MPs on Monday that
last week's violence was "the worst bloodshed in Ukraine since the
fall of Communism." He said that Ukraine now had "a pressing need
for constitutional reform, improvements to its political culture,
free elections, an end to pervasive corruption, and the building of
a stable political structure.
"We look to the new government to create the conditions for such
change in a spirit of reconciliation, while ensuring accountability
for human-rights violations."
Mr Hague, who will visit Kiev shortly, said that Britain's
fundamental interests in the Ukraine were "democracy, human rights,
and the rule of law".
Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry has accused the new
leadership in Ukraine of using Friday's peace deal as a "cover for
a power-grab." Russia has warned that it will raise import taxes if
Ukraine signs a partnership agreement with the EU. The Russian
President, Dmitry Medvedev, described the "deteriorating situation"
in the Ukraine as "a real threat to our interests."
Alla Gedz, a member of Christ Church Anglican church in Kiev,
part of the diocese in Europe, said in a message on Saturday that
the situation in Kiev was "very much peaceful" compared with the
situation earlier in the week: banks had reopened, supermarkets had
restocked food, and the Metro was working again.
Ms Gedz said: "Today, I can't stop crying together with mothers
and relatives of those children and beloved ones who were killed."
Many people had arrived in Kiev to support the victims of the
violence, she said. "I'm very proud of ordinary Ukrainian people
who brought medicine, food, blankets, and everything else to those
who are in need."