Spokesman: Former Yanukovych aide shot

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

Spokesman: Former Yanukovych aide shot
An Ukrainian man wearing camouflage uniform looks at his phone in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Stepping back from the brink of war, Vladimir Putin talked tough but cooled tensions in the Ukraine crisis Tuesday, saying Russia has no intention "to fight the Ukrainian people" but reserves the right to use force. As the Russian president held court in his personal residence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kiev's fledgling government and urged Putin to stand down. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Anti-Yanukovych protesters guard a barricade in a street heading to Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Stepping back from the brink of war, Vladimir Putin talked tough but cooled tensions in the Ukraine crisis Tuesday, saying Russia has no intention "to fight the Ukrainian people" but reserves the right to use force. As the Russian president held court in his personal residence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kiev's fledgling government and urged Putin to stand down. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ukrainian men wearing camouflage uniforms march along a street at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Stepping back from the brink of war, Vladimir Putin talked tough but cooled tensions in the Ukraine crisis Tuesday, saying Russia has no intention "to fight the Ukrainian people" but reserves the right to use force. As the Russian president held court in his personal residence, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Kiev's fledgling government and urged Putin to stand down. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Flowers surround a stone with a photo of Ustim Golodniuk killed in clashes with the police at the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The Shrine of the Fallen, is located on Institutska Street, honors the fallen "Heroes" of the "Heavenly Sotnya" (Hundred). Over the course of the Euro Maidan protests, almost 100 protesters were killed by police. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
An Ukrainian woman wearing camouflage uniform pays respect at the site were her friend Ustim Golodniuk was killed in clashes with the police at the Shrine of the Fallen in Kiev's Independence Square, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The Shrine of the Fallen, located on Institutska Street, honors the fallen "Heroes" of the "Heavenly Sotnya" (Hundred). Over the course of the Euro Maidan protests, almost 100 protesters were killed by police. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, centre, hosts the Budapest Memorandum Ministerial meeting with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia, 3rd right, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague, 2nd left, at U.S. ambassador's residence in Paris, Wednesday March 5, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Paris where he is expected to hold talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, about the crisis in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula which is now controlled by Russian troops. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool)
Pro Russian soldiers guarding Ukraine's infantry base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Tensions remained high in the strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with troops loyal to Moscow firing warning shots to ward off protesting Ukrainian soldiers. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Pro Russian soldiers guarding Ukraine's infantry base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Tensions remained high in the strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with troops loyal to Moscow firing warning shots to ward off protesting Ukrainian soldiers. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Local residents chopping wood for a bonfire as Russian soldier guards the gate of an Ukrainian infantry base in Perevalne, Ukraine, Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Tensions remained high in the strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with troops loyal to Moscow firing warning shots to ward off protesting Ukrainian soldiers. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
A protester sets light to a portrait of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich during a protest against the violence in Ukraine at Prague´s Wenceslas Square, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (AP Photo,CTK/Michal Krumphanzl) SLOVAKIA OUT
A woman reacts at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
A woman reacts at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
A pro-European Union activist wearing a mask depicting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich smokes in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013. Ukraine was thrown into crisis last month when President Viktor Yanukovych suddenly backed away from a long-awaited political and economic agreement with the European Union, deciding to focus instead on restoring trade ties with Russia. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
An anti-Yanukovych protester holds an Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
Two women light a candle at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
A photo of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is seen on a dart board on Kiev's Independence Square on February 25, 2014. Ukraine's interim leader on February 25 delayed the appointment of a new unity government until February 27 as the country sought to find a way out of its most serious crisis since independence. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-Yanukovych protesters march in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
Women holding flowers pass by barricades in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
An anti-Yanukovych protester punches a suspected thief after being captured in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)
An anti-Yanukovych protester cries near a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
An anti-Yanukovych protester, wearing a Ukrainian flag with the name of his village written across it, places flowers at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Anti-Yanukovych protesters protect the main doors of the central Post Office occupied by demonstrators in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges following the ouster of the Russia-backed president. Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A man lights a candle at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with police at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Russia sharply questioned its authority, calling it an "armed mutiny." Yanukovych himself has reportedly fled to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, a pro-Russian area in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton places flowers at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Russia sharply questioned its authority, calling it an "armed mutiny." (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
Rosary beads hang on a barricade in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine's acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
A woman cries near a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine's acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
People walk past barricades along a street heading to Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine's acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A portrait of Ukraine's embattled president Viktor Yanukovych is used for a game of darts at Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine?s acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. (AP Photo/ Marko Drobnjakovic)
Ukrainian sailors march in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol in the Crimea, Ukraine Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant Monday for President Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against the protesters who stood up for months against his rule. Yanukovych himself has reportedly fled to pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
A coffin with the body of a protester killed in recent clashes is carried through the crowd in Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's recent unrest, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Ukraine?s acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko addresses the crowd in central Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Hours after being released from prison, former Ukrainian prime minister and opposition icon Yulia Tymoshenko praised the demonstrators killed in violence this week as heroes.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
People raise their fists during a rally in Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Protesters in the Ukrainian capital claimed full control of the city Saturday following the signing of a Western-brokered peace deal aimed at ending the nation's three-month political crisis. The nation's embattled president, Viktor Yanukovych, reportedly had fled the capital for his support base in Ukraine's Russia-leaning east. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A protester waves an EU flag at the Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, Kiev's region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb, 22, 2014. Viktor Yanukovych is not in his official residence of Mezhyhirya, which is about 20 kilometres north of the capital. Ukrainian security and volunteers from among Independence Square protesters have joined forces to protect the presidential countryside retreat from vandalism and looting. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A woman and child walk past a poster of Yulia Tymoshenko, in central Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. The party of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko says that she has been released from prison. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Protesters celebrate as they ride atop of a truck, in central Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Ukraine's embattled president is calling the country's political crisis a coup and says it resembles the rise of Nazis in the 1930s. Viktor Yanukovych also says he has no intention of resigning or leaving the country. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
People wave Ukrainian flags as they enter Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside-residence in Mezhyhirya, Kiev's region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb, 22, 2014. Viktor Yanukovych is not in his official residence of Mezhyhirya, which is about 20 km (12.5 miles north of the capital. Ukrainian security and volunteers from among Independence Square protesters have joined forces to protect the presidential countryside retreat from vandalism and marauding. Yanukovych left Kiev for his support base in the country's Russian-speaking east, but an aide said that he has no intention of abandoning power.(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION


KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - The Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday delayed the formation of a new government, reflecting political tensions and economic challenges after the Russia-backed president went into hiding.

Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine's interim leader after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, said that a new government should be in place by Thursday, instead of Tuesday, as he had earlier indicated.

Turchinov is now nominally in charge of this strategic country of 46 million whose ailing economy faces the risk of default and whose loyalties are sharply tornArtem Peter between Europe and longtime ruler Russia.

Law enforcement agencies have issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovych over the killing of 82 people, mainly protesters - the bloodiest violence in Ukraine's post-Soviet history - that precipitated him fleeing the capital on Friday after signing a deal with opposition leaders to end months of violent clashes between protesters and police.

Yanukovych's former chief of staff was wounded by gunfire and hospitalized on Monday, his spokesman told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Artem Petrenko also confirmed that Klyuyev resigned his post a day before the shooting. Klyuyev was among the figures most despised by protesters in Ukraine's three-month political turmoil.

For months, thousands of people have been protesting against Yanukovych's decision to ditch an agreement for closer ties with the European Union and turn to Russia instead.

The parliament sacked some of Yanukovych's lieutenants and named their replacement, but it has yet to appoint the new premier and fill all remaining government posts. Yanukovych's whereabouts are unknown. He was last reportedly seen in the Crimea, a pro-Russia area.

The European Union's top foreign policy official urged Ukraine's new government to work out a reform program so that the West could consider financial aid to the country's battered economy.

Catherine Ashton spoke on Tuesday after meeting with the leaders of Ukraine's interim authorities formed after President Viktor Yanukvoych fled the capital.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a top figure in the protests, suggested that Yanukvoych should be tried in the Hague, Netherlands.

Protesters, meanwhile, removed a Soviet star from the top of the Ukrainian parliament building, the Verkhovna Rada. "The star on top of the Verkhovna Rada is no longer there," said Oleh Tyahnybok, head of the nationalist Svoboda party, which has been a strong force in the protest movement.

Meanwhile, a campaign for May 25 presidential elections was launched Tuesday, with Yanukovych's archrival former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko widely seen as a top contender for the post. She was freed from prison on Saturday after spending 2 ½ years there. Her lawyer said, however, that she hasn't yet declared whether to run.

Turchinov moved quickly to open a dialogue with the West, saying at a meeting with Ashton on Monday that the course toward closer integration with Europe and financial assistance from the EU were "key factors of stable and democratic development of Ukraine."

Turchinov told Ashton on Monday that Ukraine and the EU should immediately revisit the closer ties that Yanukovych abandoned in November in favor of a $15 billion bailout loan from Russia that set off a wave of protests. Within weeks, the protests expanded to include outrage over corruption and human rights abuses, leading to calls for Yanukovych's resignation.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has strongly condemned the new authorities, saying Monday they came to power as a result of an "armed mutiny" and their legitimacy is causing "big doubts." ''If you consider Kalashnikov-toting people in black masks who are roaming Kiev to be the government, then it will be hard for us to work with that government," Medvedev said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the West for turning a blind eye to what Moscow described as the opposition reneging on an agreement signed Friday to form a unity government and aiming to "suppress dissent in various regions of Ukraine with dictatorial and, sometimes, even terrorist methods."

Although Russia has questioned the interim authorities' legitimacy, European Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly referred to Turchinov as the "interim president."

NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, Gen. Philip Breedlove, discussed Ukraine with Gen. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of Russia's armed forces, on Monday and they agreed to keep each other informed about developments in the country.

Tensions, meanwhile, have been mounting in Crimea in southern Ukraine. Russia maintains a large naval base in Sevastopol that has strained relations between the countries for two decades. Pro-Russian protesters gathered in front of city hall in the port of Sevastopol on Monday chanting "Russia! Russia!"

The head of the city administration in Sevastopol quit Monday amid the turmoil, and protesters replaced a Ukrainian flag near the city hall building with a Russian flag.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's position on the turmoil in Ukraine will be crucial to the future of Crimea and Ukraine. In recent days, Putin has spoken to President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other leaders to discuss the Ukrainian crisis.

On Tuesday, Putin summoned top security officials to discuss the situation in Ukraine, but no details of the meeting were released by the Kremlin.

The current protest movement in Ukraine has been in large part a fight for the country's economic future.

Ukraine has a large potential consumer market, an educated workforce, a significant industrial base and good natural resources, in particular rich farmland. Yet its economy is in tatters due to corruption, bad government and short-sighted reliance on cheap gas from Russia.

The public deficit is rising and the economy may be back in recession. The government burned through about a tenth of its $17.8 billion in foreign reserves last month to support the currency, which has fallen 6 percent since the protests began.

Ukraine's acting finance minister said the country needs $35 billion (25.5 billion euros) to finance government needs this year and next and expressed hope for rapid Western help.

Read Full Story

People are Reading

The Latest from our Partners
1 - 3 of 15