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Ear to the Ground

Ukraine Crisis Leaves Western Leaders Scrambling

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Posted on Feb 23, 2014

People demolish the letters on the KGB officers monument in Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday. AP/Darko Vojinovic

Western governments are pledging money, support and possible EU membership to the country while anxiously watching the response of Russian President Vladimir Putin, “whose protege has effectively been ousted,” The Guardian reports.

The paper continues:

As the big international loser of the three-month drama’s denouement, the Kremlin has the potential to create the most mischief because of Ukraine’s closeness, its pro-Russian affinities in the east and south, and the country’s dependence on Russian energy supplies.

With the whereabouts of President Viktor Yanukovych still uncertain, the Ukrainian parliament on Sunday went about legalising his downfall, giving interim presidential powers to an ally of Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister who was released from jail on Saturday. Oleksandr Turchinov said the parliament should work to elect a government of national unity by Tuesday, ahead of elections that are planned for 25 May.

Yanukovych appeared on television from an undisclosed location on Saturday night, claiming he was still president and comparing the protesters to Nazis, but he continued to haemorrhage support on Sunday; even the leader of his parliamentary faction said he had “betrayed” Ukraine, and given “criminal orders”.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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