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You're reading: Akhmetov says he last talked to Yanukovych on Feb. 22, when he urged him to resign
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Ukraine’s richest man and a former member of parliament in Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, said in emailed comments: “The last time I spoke with Viktor Yanukovich was in Donetsk on 22 February. Given the situation in the country, I was persuading him to resign,” Akhmetov said.

The eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the country’s industrial heartland and home to around 1 million people, is where the two men rose from their meager beginnings to political and business titans. Both made their money in the coal industry in the turbulent, violent post-Soviet 1990s. 

Yanukovych bolted following the bloodiest week in Ukraine’s independent history, a killing spree he and other former top officials are accused of orchestrating. Nearly 100 people were killed – many by sniper fire – during deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and police in central Kyiv on Feb. 18-20, pushing the death toll in the EuroMaidan Revolution to more than 100 casualties.

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