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Viktor Yanukovych, ex Ukraine President Russia’s top pick to replace Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich is rumored to be Russia’s top choice to replace Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The pro-Russian Ukrainian leader fled to Russia in 2014 after being removed from his post.

According to The Kyiv Independent, Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to reinstate Yanukovich as President of Ukraine. Ukrainian media The outlet reported that Viktor Yanukovich is allegedly in Minsk and the Kremlin is preparing an operation to replace Zelensky with the former president.

Viktor Yanukovich was removed from the presidency of Ukraine by the Euromaidan revolution in 2014. Since then he has been in exile in Russia. Viktor Yanukovich’s proximity to Russia and his previous term as the democratically elected President of Ukraine, makes him a viable candidate for Russian President Vladimir Putin to replace current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Who is Viktor Yanukovich?

Viktor Yanukovich served as the fourth President of Ukraine from 2010 to 2014. The pro-Russian leader was removed from the presidency in 2014 after the Ukrainian revolution.

Yanukovych first ran for president in 2004 and went on to run a runoff election and even was initially declared the winner against former prime minister Viktor Yushchenko, but the election was overshadowed by allegations of electoral fraud and voter intimidation. were influenced by.

This resulted in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and the country’s Supreme Court annulled the runoff election and ordered a second runoff, losing to Yanukovich Yushchenko.

He later served as Prime Minister of Ukraine under President Yushchenko from August 2006 to December 2007. He also served as Prime Minister of the country under the chairmanship of Leonid Kuchma from 21 November 2002 to 7 December 2004 and from 28 December 2004 to 5 January 2005.

Why was Viktor Yanukovich ousted from power?

  • Viktor Yanukovich became President of Ukraine in 2010 after defeating Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine’s presidential elections, judged as free and fair.
  • Although the early years of his presidency were peaceful, protests against him began in late 2013 when he rejected a pending European Union (EU) association agreement and allowed a Russian debt bailout to build closer ties with Russia. Gave.
  • This led to protests and capture of Kyiv’s Independence Square. protest was termed as “Eurofield” By supporters of aligning Ukraine towards the European Union.
  • The protests turned into deadly clashes in January 2014, in which Ukrainians clashed with Berkut and other special police units, leading to many deaths and injuries.
  • On February 21, 2014, after lengthy discussions with the opposition, Yanukovich left Kyiv for Kharkiv, traveling to Crimea and then eventually to southern Russia.
  • The Ukrainian parliament voted on 22 February 2014 to remove Viktor Yanukovich from the presidency and set up new elections.
  • Parliament also issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of mass killings of civilians.
  • Although Yanukovich claimed in several press conferences that he was the legitimate head of state of Ukraine, he was officially stripped of the title by parliament in June 2015.
  • On January 24, 2019, a court in Ukraine sentenced Yanukovich to thirteen years’ imprisonment for high treason in absentia.

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