Viktor Yanukovych is effectively no longer the president of Ukraine. Though he said, in an unverified letter published by news agencies in the region, “I still consider myself to be the lawful head of the Ukrainian state, chosen freely by the will of the Ukrainian people,” Yanukovych left the capital city (and his immaculate mansion) five days ago and hasn’t been seen since. In the meantime, a new government has been formed.
Yanukovych reportedly fled to the pro-Russian, eastern region of Ukraine, first to the country’s second city, Kharkiv. (Over the three years before he left, he stole billions of dollars from the Ukrainian treasury, according to the recently appointed prime minister, Arseniy Yatseniuk.)
After reportedly leaving Kharkiv, Yanukovych has been hard to find, but there have been rumors: On Tuesday, a Russian news agency reported that Yanukovych was in Moscow, at the Hotel Ukraine; he then moved to the Barvikha Clinical Sanitorium, a resort near the Russian capital, according to a Fox News report.
But that report was denied by a Russian official, Mikhail Margelov, a member of the country’s ruling party and chairman of the Internal Affairs Committee of the Russian parliament’s upper house. Take that with a grain of salt: Margelov also said that he didn’t believe his country would grant asylum to Yanukovych — who was granted asylum from Russia on Thursday.
Most recently, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Yanukovych will do a press conference in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, on the Black Sea to the southeast of Ukraine, on Friday.