Ousted Yanukovych 'Joins' Putin Administration
Published: April 1, 2014 (Issue # 1803)
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has accepted a position in President Vladimir Putin's administration as an adviser on the country's affairs with Ukraine, according to a source close to the Kremlin.
The official's surprise announcement comes at the height of tensions between Russia and Ukraine over Russia's recent annexation of the Crimean peninsula last month.
"We need to understand how the bandits who seized power in Kiev think," the source said Monday. "We thought Viktor Fyodorovich [Yanukovych] could give us insight about how to deal with this new crowd."
Related: Leaked Documents Expose Yanukovych's Bizarre Expenditure
The source added: "The illegal coup in Kiev put an experienced professional on the street. We reserve the right to rectify this violation of Mr. Yanukovych's fundamental right to employment."
A Kremlin spokesman refused to comment on whether Yanukovych had been offered a job. But the appointment was indirectly confirmed by an official in the presidential property department, who said Yanukovych was expected to move into a Kremlin-owned estate.
Yanukovych, whose whereabouts remain murky after he fled Kiev under pressure from opposition protesters in late February, has not made any public comments about a new job.
Although the West has recognized the acting Ukrainian government, voted in by parliament after Yanukovych's ouster, Russia maintains that the new authorities obtained power illegally.
Yanukovych, for his part, has warned of dangerous elements among the new authorities.
After days of speculation regarding his whereabouts, Yanukovych resurfaced in Russia on Feb. 28 requesting protection from "extremists."
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