Former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich has been missing since Parliament passed a resolution on February 22nd that kicked him out of office.
Two Russian media outlets say Yanukovich is in Russia: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta claims the CIA escorted him out of Ukraine to Moscow, and RBC says he is at a luxury health resort outside of Moscow.
After he was deposed, Yanukovich went to Karkhiv in east Ukraine and disappeared. There were reports he was in the pro-Russian Crimean peninsula, and the new Ukraine government claims he is still in Ukraine.
The Russian paper said the CIA may have promised Yanukovich a new life if he left politics:
‘Where is Viktor Yanukovych?’ asked an article on the website of Russia’s state-owned newspaper of record.
The intelligence agencies of many countries, hundreds of politicians and experts, thousands of interested persons in Kiev, and millions of Ukrainians racked their brains over this question.
He could not have simply disappeared into thin air. He is a recognisable politician, after all, even a very recognisable one.
And at this point, the entirely logical question comes to mind: Has he not been hidden by people who are very adept at covering tracks? That is to say, by the Americans.
The Kremlin newspaper claimed that ‘it was obvious’ that the main ‘guarantors’ of this document were not European diplomats, but their counterparts from across the Atlantic.
‘Yanukovych would definitely have continued to resist if he had not received sufficiently weighty guarantees of safety for himself, his family, and his innermost circle,’ stated the Russian version.
However, a Russian businessman told RBC Yanukovich arrived in Moscow on Tuesday night and was seen at the Raddison Royal Hotel Ukraine in Moscow.
Sources later told the paper that Mr. Yanukovych had then moved to the Barvikha Clinical Sanitorium, a health resort run by the Russian department of presidential affairs on the prestigious Rublyovka-Uspenskoe highway to the west of the city.
Putin owns a home in one of the high-end neighborhoods in the area.
Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovich and wants to try him for mass murder in front of the International Criminal Court.
The Ukrainian government announced its new cabinet at the Maidan on Wednesday and nominated Arseniy Yatsenyuk for prime minister. Presidential elections will be held on May 25.