Ukraine Asks Interpol to Arrest Yanukovych
Interpol said on Thursday it was studying a request by Ukrainian authorities to issue an international wanted persons alert for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych for abuse of power and murder.
In a statement quoted by The Associated Press (AP), the international police organization said it received a request a day earlier from Ukrainian authorities to issue a "Red Notice," which informs Interpol's 190-member countries that an arrest warrant has been issued. It is not an international arrest warrant.
The request "is being assessed" to see if it is in line with Interpol's rules, the statement said.
Yanukovych fled to Russia after disturbances in which more than 80 people were killed in Kiev, but insists he is still president.
The Ukrainian government has already issued an arrest warrant for the ouster Yanukovych, as the country's new rulers launched a probe over the government's "mass murder" of protesters in Kiev.
Meanwhile on Thursday, the parliament of Crimea voted to join Russia, in a move analysts fear will exacerbate the Russia-Ukraine standoff.
Members of Parliament voted unanimously “to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation.” Analysts said the declaration must have had approval from Russia’s leaders.
In addition, the local government moved forward a national referendum on the issue of joining Russia. The referendum will now be held within 10 days.
Russia sent troops to the Crimea region, which has an ethnic Russian majority, following the political unrest in Ukraine. Arutz Sheva’s correspondent in Kharkov warned this week that Ukraine does not intend to capitulate to Russia’s move to take over Crimea.