KIEV, February 24 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant Monday for the deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, on charges of mass murder.
Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Yanukovych was being sought in connection with the killings of “innocent citizens,” a reference to protesters killed during clashes last week between anti-government protesters and police.
“Yanukovych and other officials have been declared wanted,” Avakov said in a statement on his Facebook account.
Yanukovych fled the Ukrainian capital Saturday, one day after tentative deal mediated by the EU and Russia was reached to call early elections and form an interim government.
As that deal quickly fell apart and members of Yanukovych’s Party of Regions resigned en masse, parliament voted to impeach the president and installed a new acting head of state in his place.
Acting president and parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said Yanukovych tried to board a charter plane in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk over the weekend, but was prevented from doing so by customs officers.
He gave no details on Yanukovych’s destination, as the flight did not undergo the registration procedure.
Yanukovych’s whereabouts remain unknown. His aide Anna Herman told the Ukrinform agency that he was in Ukraine, but gave no further details.
She said she had had no contact with Yanukovych in recent days.
Yanukovych insisted Saturday that he would neither resign nor sign any agreement with what he called “bandits terrorizing the country.” He described the events in Kiev as a "coup".
Updated with Herman's comment