Ukraine factions trade barbs amid president's sick leave

Share with others:


Print Email Read Later

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's opposition accused President Viktor Yanukovych of foul play as he placed himself on sick leave and said his rivals were escalating the nation's two-month political crisis.

The two sides are in dispute over steps meant to reduce tension after deadly anti-government clashes last week. Mr. Yanukovych's Cabinet fell with Tuesday's resignation of former Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. The opposition rejected an amnesty law for protesters pushed through Wednesday and said the president may cite illness to avoid canceling anti-protest laws.

"This temporary pause benefits Yanukovych tactically. If a decision is taken to disperse the protests by force while the president is officially on sick leave, responsibility will lie with those who carry out the move," Gorshenin Institute analyst Vladimir Zastava in Kiev said by phone.

Activists at Independence Square barricade in Kiev have been demanding that the 63-year-old leader step down since he scuttled a European Union integration pact in November, spurring a West-Russia tug-of-war.

His office said Mr. Yanukovych took sick leave Thursday with an "acute respiratory condition" and high fever. In a statement later, he said: "All obligations that the authorities have taken upon themselves have been fulfilled. The opposition, however, continues to escalate the situation."


Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here