MOSCOW, March 3 (RAPSI) – Viktor Yanukovich, who fled his country in the aftermath of deadly riots, has been charged with attempting to overturn the constitutional order, UNIAN news agency reported Monday citing acting Prosecutor General Oleg Makhnitsky.
The decision to open a criminal case against Yanukovich was made after he delivered a press conference Friday, the agency quoted Makhnitsky as having said. In his speech Yanukovich declared the refusal to acknowledge his ouster, and vowed his determination to continue the fight for Ukraine’s future.
Yanukovich stated that he remains the legitimate leader of Ukraine, and that the authority in the country was subjugated by radical nationalistic thugs that do not represent the majority of the Ukrainian people.
Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) ousted and impeached Yanukovich on February 22, appointed Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov acting president, and scheduled presidential elections for May 25.
Special envoy for the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Arsen Avakov said soon after on Facebook that Yanukovich was placed on a wanted list. "A criminal case on mass murder of civilians has been initiated. Yanukovich and a number of other officials have been put on a wanted list," Avakov wrote on February 24.
The violence that ensued in Ukraine last month resulted in numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries. Thousands of people marched on the parliament building in Kiev, where a standoff was taking place over proposed constitutional reforms that the opposition said could provide a way out of the political crisis.
On numerous occasions, the Russian Foreign Ministry has denounced the legitimacy both of the acting federal authorities in Ukraine and of the decisions that have been made by Ukrainian parliament following Yanukovich's removal from office. Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Yanukovich remains to be the president, and that his purported impeachment process was marred by violations.