Ukraine’s interim president Oleksander Turchinov has delayed plans to form a new government by Tuesday evening, saying that the deadline has been extended to Thursday to allow for further consultations. All the day’s developments as they happen
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By Harriet Alexander
2:04PM GMT 25 Feb 2014
14.04 It’s certainly been a busy 48 hours for Russian diplomats, too (see 11.20).
Now Grigory Karasin, a deputy foreign minister, has met in Moscow with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Russia, Volodymyr Yelchenko.
The meeting was called to raise concerns over the safety of Russians in Ukraine, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“From the Russian side questions were raised about … the safety for Russian citizens and diplomatic representatives on the territory of Ukraine,” the ministry statement said.
13.36 Former Georgian president claims that Yanukovych openly boasted of corruption in Ukraine
13.18 With the hunt for Yanukovych in full cry, the Paddy Power publicity machine senses the biggest flood of bets since Col Muammar Gaddafi went missing in Libya. Here are the odds for those inclined to indulge in a wager:
Where is Yanukovych?
13.10 Additional information has come in about the alleged shooting of the former head of the presidential bureaucracy:
Andriy Klyuev, a former presidential aide who is said by the new Ukrainian authorities to be on the run with ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich, has been shot in the leg, his spokesman said.
Spokesman Artem Petrenko said a “trusted source” had told him that Klyuev, the head of the presidential administration until Yanukovich was toppled on Saturday, had come under fire twice and was wounded, but his life was not in danger.
Petrenko said by telephone that he had not spoken to Klyuev himself and he did not know where Klyuev was. He also said he did not know whether Klyuev was with Yanukovich, who fled Kiev on Friday and is wanted by the Ukrainian authorities to face accusations of murder.
12.55 More details emerging of Vitali Klitschko’s decision to run for the presidency.
Mr Klitschko, 42, a former WBC heavyweight champion, has been one of the main opposition leaders championing the cause of thousands of protesters who took to the streets last November.
“I will run for the post of president of Ukraine because I firmly believe that the rules of the game have to be changed in Ukraine,” he was quoted as telling journalists.
12.40 Speaking of sidekicks, one has been shot according to this newsflash:
UKRAINIAN EX-PRESIDENTIAL AIDE ANDRIY KLYUEV HAS BEEN WOUNDED BY GUNFIRE, NOT CLEAR IF HE IS WITH YANUKOVICH (Reuters)
12.35 A reminder of times past emerges from pictures from the house of a presidential sidekick:
12.30 For a background read on the alleged role of two oligarchs in Viktor Yanukovych’s downfall, see Der Spiegel’s english language version of events in Kiev here
It claims that Rinat Akhmetov (see below) and Dmitry Firtash pulled the rug from under the now missing president.
12.20 Another oligarch – this time Victor Pinchuk – has his say in the FT(£)
12.15 The baroness meets the gas baron – a picture of two of the women who play a big role in determining Ukraine’s fate in the months to come. Lady Ashton, the EUs foreign affairs supremo meets newly-freed Yulia Tymoshenko.
12.10 A lot of people are coming out of the woodwork after the horse has bolted, including Ukraine’s richest men who are lining up to say what should happen
12.00 Vitali Klitschko has confirmed that he will be a candidate for the presidency. News that was expected but it demonstrates there is no appetite for a cosy deal between the opposition candidates.
11.50 National Geographic has a slideshow depicting the faces of the Ukrainian revolution here:
11.46 Ukraine raises prospect of an international criminal court trial of Viktor Yanukovych:
Ukraine’s parliament has voted to send fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich to be tried for ‘serious crimes’ by the International Criminal Court once he has been captured.
A resolution, overwhelmingly supported by the assembly, linked Yanukovich, who was ousted on Saturday and is now on the run, to police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens from Ukraine and other states.
The resolution said former interior minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and former prosecutor-general Viktor Pshonka, who are also being sought by the authorities, should also be sent for trial at the ICC, which is based in The Hague.
11.33 Ukraine’s parliament has just passed a resolution saying that ousted former president Viktor Yanukovych and others caused the deaths of more than 1000 citizens. Here is another picture from the top of the building.
11.20 And in Moscow, the diplomacy continues.
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has spoken to Barack Obama, Angela Merkel and David Cameron about the crisis. Today he summoned his top security officials to discuss the situation – but no details of their meeting were released.
Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said earlier today that Ukraine must not be forced to choose between East and West.
And yesterday Dmitri Medvedev, the prime minister, 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,” he said.
11.00 Meanwhile, back in Ukraine, campaigning has officially begun for the presidential election – due to be held on May 25.
Mr Yanukovych’s archrival, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is widely seen as a top contender for the post. She was freed from prison on Saturday after spending two-and-a-half years there. Her lawyer said, however, that she hasn’t yet declared whether to run.
10.50 But a Conservative MP respectfully disagrees with the diversion of taxpayers money to the tussle for Ukraine.
10.45 Behind the scenes efforts to ensure a new government enjoys Western financial support are breaking into view.
10.36 More from Baroness Ashton, the first senior foreign official to visit Kiev since the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych as president.
Voicing “strong support” for Ukraine’s new leaders at a news conference, Baroness Ashton urged them to form an “inclusive” government and focus on getting the country through short-term problems.
She spelled out no details of any foreign financial assistance, saying the EU would work with the International Monetary Fund but the IMF would make its own assessment of the situation.
10.15 Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, is in Kiev today, and is speaking now.
Key points from her speech so far:
- Russia, as a neighbouring country, should help Ukraine move forward.
– The focus should be on getting Ukraine through short-term problems
– Then Ukraine needs to look at reforms to agriculture and energy
10.08 Protesters in Kiev are still hard at work – here cutting the Soviet pentagram symbol out of the parliamentary building.
“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.
09.50 Meanwhile, the hunt for Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted president, continues.
Our correspondent Roland Oliphant has sent this dispatch from the Crimea – one of the regions where Mr Yanukovych could be hiding. An arrest warrant has been issued for him.
09.45 Oleksander Turchinov, the interim president, has put off plans to vote on the formation of a national unity government until Thursday to allow consultations to continue. We were expecting the announcement of a new prime minister and cabinet today.
“The vote on the national unity government should be on Thursday,” said Mr Turchinov, the speaker of the assembly and the acting president. The vote had been expected to take place during Tuesday’s session.
Later on Tuesday he will meet law enforcement agencies to discuss “dangerous signs of separatism” in some areas.
09.30 Welcome again to our continuing coverage of the extraordinary events in Ukraine.