Political vacuum as Ukraine's President goes on sick leave amid crisis
KIEV (REUTERS) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has gone on sick leave with a respiratory ailment, his website said on Thursday, leaving a political vacuum in a country destabilised by anti-government protests.
Mr Yanukovich's prime minister, Mykola Azarov, resigned on Tuesday after a sharp escalation of two months of street unrest prompted by Mr Yanukovich's rejection of a European Union deal in favour of closer ties with Russia.
The president, under pressure from Moscow not to tilt policy back towards the West, has yet to appoint a successor.
Mr Serhiy Arbuzov, who was Mr Azarov's first deputy, has stepped in as interim prime minister.