Ukraine’s new rulers, just 24 hours after ousting President Viktor Yanukovych, began speedily to unstitch his power structure on Sunday, appointing a provisional leader to replace him and sacking his key ministers.
At an emergency parliament session, they worked at breakneck pace to dismantle the coterie of ministers and cronies he had gathered around him since coming to power in 2010.
Yanukovych remained at an undisclosed location somewhere in eastern Ukraine, still protesting against the “bandits terrorising the country” and declaring himself a legitimate president who had fallen victim to a coup d’etat.
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But with defections from his party now swelling opposition ranks in parliament, it found no difficulty in parliament in pushing through decisions that took to pieces the political house he had built.
Oleksander Turchinov was temporarily handed the role of president — a particularly bitter pill for the fugitive Yanukovych since Turchinov is a confidant of his arch-rival Yulia Tymoshenko.
No order was given for the detention of Yanukovych himself. His precise whereabouts were unknown Sunday.
Border guards said he had tried to leave Donetsk on a chartered plane for an undisclosed destination, but he was refused permission.