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Ukraine ushers in new era as president flees

Published on Feb 23, 2014 10:07 PM
 
Thousands of people come to visit Kiev's Independence square on Feb 23, 2014. A new era dawned in Ukraine on Sunday when parliament appointed a pro-Western interim leader after impeaching a defiant president Viktor Yanukovych, whose whereabouts remain a mystery following a week of carnage. -- PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (AFP) - A new era dawned in Ukraine on Sunday when parliament appointed a pro-Western interim leader after impeaching a defiant president Viktor Yanukovych, whose whereabouts remain a mystery following a week of carnage.

The ex-Soviet state's bloody three-month crisis culminated in a dizzying flurry of historic changes over the weekend that saw parliament oust the pro-Russian Yanukovych and call a presidential election for May 25.

Lawmakers then went a step further by approving the release from her seven-year jail sentence of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko - a star of the 2004 Orange Revolution who was thrown behind bars less than a year after Yanukovych came to power in 2010.

The constitutional legitimacy of parliament's actions remains an open question and Yanukovych vowed in a taped interview to fight the "bandits" who now claimed to rule Ukraine.

 
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