Yanukovych crosses Ukraine, looking for refuge

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2014 at 9:46 am •  Published: February 24, 2014
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KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — With his allies deserting him and his once-firm presidential power disintegrating, Viktor Yanukovych has fled Ukraine's capital by car and aircraft, heading for the parts of the country where he is most likely to find friends, according to the acting head of the police.

On Monday, as Yanukovych's exact whereabouts remained unknown, acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakhov posted on his official Facebook page a rundown of where Yanukovych has been sighted since leaving Kiev on Friday.

His departure came hours after signing an agreement on resolving Ukraine's political crisis that reduced his powers and was seen by many as a tacit admission of defeat.

Avakhov said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Yanukovych and several other officials for the "mass killing of civilians," stemming from the deaths of protesters in Kiev.

Here's a look at Yanukovych's movements since Friday, based on one TV appearance and the account by Avakhov:

A TV INTERVIEW IN KHARKIV

Yanukovych surfaced Saturday in the city of Kharkiv, 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of Kiev, in the heartland of his base of support. In a videotaped interview, he bitterly likened opposition protesters to Nazis and declared he was still president and would not leave the country. That was his last public appearance.

FOILED AT THE AIRPORT IN DONETSK

From Kharkiv, Avakhov said Yanukovych, his chief of staff Andrit Klyuyev and his security guards flew Saturday by helicopter to the airport in Donetsk, his hometown, 230 kilometers (140 miles) to the south. There, he and his contingent transferred to two Falcon business jets and tried to fly off, but were prevented from leaving by border guards. Avakhov did not explain the basis for guards blocking the planes' departure. Yanukovych spent a few hours in a state residence and then left about 10 p.m. in a convoy of automobiles, Avakhov said.

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