Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted

By ANDREW HIGGINS and ANDREW E. KRAMER, NYT
JAN. 3, 2015

KIEV, Ukraine — Ashen-faced after a sleepless night of marathon negotiations, Viktor F. Yanukovych hesitated, shaking his pen above the text placed before him in the chandeliered hall. Then, under the unsmiling gaze of European diplomats and his political enemies, the beleaguered Ukrainian president scrawled his signature, sealing a deal that he believed would keep him in power, at least for a few more months.

But even as Mr. Yanukovych sat down with his political foes at the presidential administration building on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 21, his last authority was fast draining away. In a flurry of frantic calls to opposition lawmakers, police and security commanders were making clear that they were more worried about their own safety than protecting Mr. Yanukovych and his government.

By that evening, he was gone, evacuated from the capital by helicopter, setting the stage for the most severe bout of East-West tensions since the Cold War.

Russia has attributed Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster to what it portrays as a violent, “neo-fascist” coup supported and even choreographed by the West and dressed up as a popular uprising. The Kremlin has cited this assertion, along with historical ties, as the main justification for its annexation of Crimea in March and its subsequent support for an armed revolt by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s industrial heartland in the east.

(More here.)

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