Ukraine leader to Sochi as Kremlin warns may act against "coup"
KIEV (REUTERS) - Ukraine's embattled president flew to Russia on Thursday as a senior Kremlin aide urged him to stamp out a standoff on the streets, calling it an attempted coup financed and armed by the United States.
Caught in a rip-tide of competing enticements and threats from Russia and the West, President Viktor Yanukovich flew to Sochi where he was expected to meet Vladimir Putin before the Russian leader opens the Winter Olympics on Friday evening.
The bitter tug-of-war going on between east and west broke out into dirty tricks on the Internet, with what appeared to be online leaks of bugged recordings of top US and EU diplomats discussing efforts to help Mr Yanukovich's opponents into power.
And the Kremlin aide, a key Putin adviser on Ukraine, added to the Cold War ambience of Russia's first Olympics since 1980 by warning that Moscow could intervene to defend Ukraine's sovereignty under the terms of the 1994 pact with the United States under which Kiev gave up nuclear weapons inherited from the Soviet Union.