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Ukraine interim government requests international arrest warrant for Yanukovich

Ukraine interim general prosecutor reported on Wednesday that an international arrest warrant has been requested for ousted president Viktor Yanukovich, implicating him in the "mass murder" of civilians during the recent Kiev protests. Oleg Makhnytsky reported [AFP report] that the former president was "the subject of an international arrest warrant." It is unknown at this time whether Ukrainian officials have additionally made a formal request to Interpol for Yanukovich's arrest. Meanwhile, the current interim government is expected to be formally approved by the Ukrainian parliamentary body Verkhovna Rada [official website] on Thursday, and interim leaders have proposed [AP report] that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who has formerly served as economy minister, foreign minister and parliamentary speaker, become Ukraine's new prime minister.

Ukraine's interim officials have rapidly worked to alter the state of affairs within the government in the few days since Yanukovich fled from Kiev. The Ukrainian parliament voted on Tuesday to adopt a resolution [JURIST report] referring Yanukovich and other high-ranking state officials to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Yanukovich was last seen in the Crimean peninsula after state officials on Monday issued [JURIST report] a warrant for his arrest, implicating him in the "mass murder" of civilians during the recent protests. The Ukrainian parliament voted [JURIST report] on Saturday to remove him from power, after his repeated refusals to resign in response to the escalating violence. There has been substantial international concern over the mounting crisis in the country, and on February 19 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights made a statement urging [JURIST report] both sides of the conflict to reach a peaceful resolution and end the violence. This followed a January 31 statement by the office that called for [JURIST report] an investigation into allegations of torture against protesters. A day earlier the Ukrainian parliament passed a resolution granting [JURIST report] conditional amnesty to many protesters, a move that failed to conciliate the opposition groups.

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