refused comment on his departure.
sources say that he left because of the draconian, anti-democratic laws passed
on Jan. 16 by parliament that criminalize slander and impose other heavy
restrictions on freedom of speech, curtail rights to peaceful assembly and more
tightly regulate the activities of nongovernmental organizations. Yanukovych
reportedly has signed all measures into law.
resignations of top Yanukovych staff members are said to be coming over the laws, including those of Denys Ivanesko, Yanukovych’s head of public information; Darka Chepak, his press secretary; and Andriy Yermolaev, a political adviser.