Acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that former President Viktor Yanukovych has been placed on the wanted list.
“As of this morning, a criminal case on mass killings of civilians has been opened. Yanukovych and several other officials have been placed on the wanted list,” he wrote on his page on Facebook on Monday, Feb.24.
Avakov said that Yanukovych and Andriy Kliuyev, the head of the presidential administration, left Balaklava, Crimea “in an unknown direction in three cars, turning off all communication devices.”
Avakov said Yanukovych and Kliuyev arrived in Kharkiv from Kyiv by helicopter on February 21, intending to attend the Party of Regions congress in Kharkiv. On February 22, Yanukovych took a helicopter to Donetsk airport.
“Upon arrival the Donetsk airport, he and his security guards got into two private planes and tried to leave. The border guard service did not let them leave. After that, Yanukovych left for his residence in Donetsk, where he spent several hours. In the late evening of February 22, Yanukovych’s motorcade left for Crimea. The motorcade was not accompanied by traffic police,” Avakov said.
On February 23, Yanukovych arrived in Crimea. “He stayed at a private sanatorium, deliberately ignoring special state facilities, including the presidential dacha, where he had planned to go earlier. After learning about the parliament’s decisions to appoint Turchynov acting president of Ukraine and the departure of the newly appointed interior minister and head of the Ukrainian Security Service to Crimea, Yanukovych quickly left the private sanatorium and headed to Belbek airport, were [Ukrainian Security Service curator] Nalyvaichenko and I were waiting,” Avakov said.
“At 2350, Yanukovych stopped at a private residence in the Balaklava area, without reaching Belbek airport. He gathered his security guards and asked them who will follow him further and who will stay there. Some security guards said they wanted to ‘stay there.’ Yanukovych said good-bye to them and said he was officially giving up state protection. The officials from the State Guard Department who did not follow him took back all state weapons in order to bring them to the Crimean department of the State Protection Service,” Avakov said, adding that Yanukovych had then left in an unknown direction.