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Yanukovych to Join Putin Administration

Published: April 2, 2014 (Issue # 1804)


MOSCOW Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has accepted a position in President Vladimir Putins administration as an adviser on the countrys affairs with Ukraine, according to a source close to the Kremlin.

The officials surprise announcement comes at the height of tensions between Russia and Ukraine over Russias 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.

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. Yanukovychs 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 Yanukovychs 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.

At a news conference in Rostov-on-Don in early March, he reiterated his unwavering support for Russia, which likely swayed the Kremlins decision to hire him, according to the source.

The usurpers who seized power will try to shift the responsibility on me, Yanukovych said. And perhaps even on Russia. I will never agree to this.

Yanukovych told reporters last week that every Ukrainian region should hold its own referendum, a statement that was denounced as an attempt to exacerbate strife and political rifts within the country.

The Kremlin property department official said that Yanukovych would be housed in an estate on Moscows posh Rublyovskoye Shosse from April 1.

We are expecting a shipment of art work and vintage furniture smuggled out of the Mezhyhirya residence at any moment, said the official, who sought anonymity so he could speak candidly. We are closely following Mr. Yanukovychs instructions for the interior design of his home, which will be free of any orange, a color he finds hideous.

The property manager also said that an enclosure would be constructed to accommodate a few exotic pets for Yanukovych, who abandoned the animals at his private zoo at his former Mezhyhirya estate outside Kiev before fleeing Ukraine.

The residence was taken over by opposition protesters, journalists and members of the general public after it was found abandoned in late February. Many of Yanukovychs belongings among them a botanical garden, a petting zoo and a replica pirate ship have been subject to intense scrutiny for what many see as exorbitant costs at taxpayers expense.

Among the animals at his new Rublyovskoye residence will be pheasants, peacocks and at least one ostrich, the property department official said.





 

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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