Ukrainian Government Issues Arrest Warrant for Ex-President Yanukovych

Ukraine's interim government issued an arrest warrant on Monday for recently ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of the "mass killing of civilians" during last week's bloody protests in Kiev.

Ukraine's acting interior minister Arsen Avakov first announced the warrant on his Facebook page.

"A criminal case has been initiated into mass murders of peaceful civilians," Avakov wrote. "A warrant has been issued for the apprehension of Yanukovych and a number of other officials."

According to Akavov, Yanukovych arrived in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula on Sunday and has since gone into hiding with members of his security team.

Dozens of protesters were killed and hundreds more were injured during last week's clashes in Kiev. The violence was so extreme that even Yanukovych's party has denounced him.

"The country finds itself deceived and robbed, but even this is nothing in comparison with the grief that dozens of Ukrainian families, who have lost their relatives, are feeling," the Party of Regions party wrote in a statement on its website, according to the New York Times. "Ukraine has been betrayed. Vikto Yanukovych and his team are responsible for this."

Following Yanukovich's expulsion, Ukraine moved quickly to establish an interim government. During an emergency parliament session on Saturday, parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov was granted presidential powers. During his formal address to the country, Turchinov reassured the public.

"The law enforcement structures are no longer threatening the life, health and security of the citizens of Ukraine," he said.

[Image via AP]