Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine, may be hiding out in Crimea
February 24, 2014
According to Ukraine Liveblog Russian officials have arrived in Sevastopol on the Crimea peninsula and are preparing to issue passports.
The following translation appeared earlier today on the blog:
Russian State Duma deputies have arrived in Simferopol. The delegation is headed by Leonid Slutsky, head of the committee on the CIS. Russians promise to simply the issuance of passports to Crimeans.
Report summarizing their statements from Oleg Kryuchkov of censor.net.ua:
“Russia is starting to give out passports under a simplified procedure. Russia demands the fulfillment of the conditions of the agreements between the opposition and Yanukovych. And the main thing is that in the event of a decision of the Crimeans to have a referendum, or an appeal to the Supreme Council of the Crimea to Russia with a request to annex…Russia will review this question very quickly. Tsekov and Aksyonov mumbled, spoke about integrity and the Russian Word festival.”
This is a similar procedure the Russians initiated before the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict in 2008. Abkhazians received passports well ahead of Georgia’s invasion and Russia’s military response.
— Thomas van Linge (@arabthomness) February 24, 2014
The Russian news outlet Izvestia reported military movement:
Four ships from the Russian town of Kubinka with a regiment of special troops are headed to Anapa.
From there within 4 hours they will reach Sevastopol at a speed of 10-15 knots, reports a source for Izvestiya in Ukraine.
According to the source, this movement is qualitative, and not quantitative. It is being observed from Ukraine. A depot for loading large tanker and infantry ships is located for dispatch to Sevastopol.
Crimea has signaled secession from Ukraine and possible annexation by Russia may be acceptable. The Guardian reported earlier today that a Russian flag was hoisted over the city hall in Sevastopol.
Rumors are rife that Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed president of Ukraine, may be hiding out in Crimea.
The last time an insurrectionary mood overcame Crimea was in 2008 when then president Viktor Yushchenko announced plans to evict the Russian fleet. Yushchenko was installed during the Rose Revolution fomented by the West. He was voted out of office and replaced with Yanukovych who was toppled by Euromaidan revolutionaries last week.