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Interpol Issues Arrest Warrant for Former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych

Interpol placed former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on their most wanted list. The red notice means Ukraine can extradite Yanukovych when he is caught regardless of where the arrest occurs.

According to the red notice, Yanukovych is charged with “[M]isappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property by malversation, if committed in respect or an especially gross amount, or by an organized group.” Yanukovych fled Ukraine on February 22, 2014, after three months of intense protest in Kiev’s Independence Square. Minister for Internal Affairs Arseniy Avakov said Interpol released the red notices “months after the submission of a request from the Interior Ministry, Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the Security Service.”

“On the international wanted list of Interpol (red notice – wanted for extradition to Ukraine): Viktor F. Yanukovych, Olexander Yanukovych, Azarov Mykola Azarov, Bagatyreva Raisa [former Health Minister], Kolobov Yu (former Minister of Finance), Dzekon GB (Former head of Ukrtelecom),” Avakov posted on his Facebook page.

Yanukovych fled to Russia after the Ukrainian Parliament ousted him from power. He held a press conference from Russia on February 28 where he claimed the West caused the crisis in Ukraine and asserted himself as the rightful president of Ukraine. In an interview with the Associated Press, Yanukovych denied all corruption allegations, which include bankrupting the country. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said there is over $30 million missing from the nation’s coffers and Ukrainians immediately eyed Yanukovych’s lavish residence. He also told the Associated Press that Yanokovych collected the classic cars over the years, but did not explain where the other luxury items came from. Even the ducks living on the residence boasted expensive houses in the middle of the pond outside of his house.

Even though Yanukovych is in Russia, Moscow never took an opportunity to send him back to Kiev.

“The Russian general prosecutor’s office is basically lying when it claims that it never received a request from its Ukrainian colleagues for the extradition of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and other politicians,” declared Avakov.

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