A warrant for the arrest of Ukraine's Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted as president on Saturday, has been issued, according to the acting interior minister.
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Arsen Avakov, one of the opposition lawmakers that took control of Ukraine over the weekend, confirmed on his Facebook page that Yanukovych and several others were wanted by authorities for the "mass murder of civilians" and a criminal case had been opened.
Ukrainian MPs voted to oust Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych and hold early presidential elections on 25 May. The removal of Yanukovych comes after months of protests sparked by his rejection of closer ties with the European Union (EU). The unrest escalated last week after security forces attempted to clamp down on protests. Dozens died in the resulting clashes and after a peace deal with EU foreign ministers was signed Friday, Oeksander Turchinov took on the role of acting president over the weekend.
Russia said on Monday that the peace deal was being used by opposition forces to make a power grab and interim authorities were employing "terrorist methods" to suppress dissenters in Russian-speaking regions.
"A course has been set to use dictatorial and sometime terrorist methods to suppress dissenters in various regions," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
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On his Facebook page, Avakov detailed Yanukovych's movements after leaving the capital Kiev on Friday. He said that Yanukovych flew by helicopter to the second-largest city Kharkiv, located in the north-east of the country, before moving to Donetsk Airport on Saturday. In Donetsk he was prevented from flying by border services and then left for Crimea - a peninsula of Ukraine located on the northern coast of the Black Sea that is a Russian stronghold within the country.
On Sunday, he stayed at a nursing home on the Crimean peninsula, Avakov added, before moving on to a private residence near Balaclava. From there he left by car for an unknown destination, accompanied by his former presidential chief of staff, Andriy Klyuyev, after relieving his security staff of their duties.