Story by Morgan Gstalter
Viktor Yanukovych, president of Ukraine, was removed from office on Saturday.
Following the decision, Yanukovych’s appointed interim president Olexandr Turchynov, deputy leader of the Fatherland Party and long-time opponent of Yanukovych’s presidency, issued an arrest warrant for the former leader.
Turchynov is accusing Yanukovych of mass crimes against his constituents.
Over 100 Ukranians were killed by police while protesting.
Parliament voted on Tuesday to take the matter to The Hague’s International Crimes Court.
Taylor Becktold, a Drake first-year student studying law, politics and society said, “The way the president treated his protesters was atrocious. His arrest is definitely justified.”
Yanukovych’s current whereabouts are unknown. According to BBC, he was last reportedly seen on Sunday in Balaklava, on the Crimean peninsula.
Drake first–year Lindsay Carlson visited Ukraine in the summer of 2011 to help coach in a soccer program.
While there, she could sense the hostility growing with the occupants of Kiev, Ukraine’s capital. “People had very negative reactions towards all of the president’s decisions,” Carlson said. “My translator’s husband would refer to him as the head of the ‘mob’ and there were rumors he had killed the former president just to get his position. Who knows if that’s true but that is still something very dramatic to accuse the president of.”
Carlson went on to say, “The western side of the country, especially Kiev, is a younger generation and a lot of them don’t speak Russian or associate themselves with Russian culture. A lot of them think negative thoughts towards Russia and Putin. And that was almost three years ago. I’m sure that resentment has only grown since then.”
— Aug. 1991: Ukraine declares independence from USSR
— Feb. 2010: Pro-Russian candidate Viktor Yanukovych declared winner in presidential election. Main opposition, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, alleges fraud and refuses to accept results. She is arrested.
— Nov. 21, 2013: Yanukovych’s cabinet announces that it will abandon an agreement that would strengthen trade with EU, instead seeks closer cooperation with Russia
— Nov. 24, 2013: 100,000 demonstrators protest in Kiev
— Nov. 30, 2013: First police raid of protestors
— Dec. 8, 2013: Largest demonstration yet (800,000 people) in Kiev
— Dec. 7, 2013: Russia’s Putin buys $15 billion of Ukrainian debt and reduces cost of Russian gas to Ukraine after talks with Yanukovych
— Jan. 6: Parliament passes restrictive anti-protest laws
— Jan. 22: First protest deaths: two people die from gunshot wounds from clashes with police
— Jan. 28: Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov resigns and anti-protest law is annulled
— Feb. 4: All protestors who have been arrested since December are released
— Feb. 6: Protestors evacuate Kiev city hall
— Feb. 8: At least 18 people killed (7 policemen). Protestors take back Kiev City Hall
— Feb. 20: Worst violence yet, death toll in 48 hours reaches 77, hundreds wounded. EU foreign ministers fly in to try and broker a deal. Russia announces it is sending an envoy
— Feb. 21: Yanukovych signs compromise deal with opposition leaders that will lead to new national unity government, constitutional changes. Opposition leaders call for elections to be held in December
— Feb. 22: Yanukovych is nowhere to be found, appears on TV to insist he was lawfully-elected president and denounces “coup d’etat.” Yanukovych’s arch-rival and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko is released from jail. She travels to Kiev.
— Feb. 23: Parliament Speaker Olexander Turchynov named interim president, tells opposition leaders they have until Tuesday to form new government. Yanukovych’s whereabouts still unknown.