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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, Oct. 22


English teachers can expect to receive a few useful pointers today from Evgeny Kalashnikov, the British Council regional teacher, during the EFL Seminar this afternoon hosted by the British Book Center. The topic of todays seminar is Grammar Practice.


Young Petersburgers will get the chance to jumpstart their careers at Professional Growth, a job fair and forum featuring more than 40 major Russian and international companies vying for potential candidates for future positions. The forum not only is a chance to network but also to learn more about the modern business world and to understand what it takes to get the job you want.



Thursday, Oct. 23


AmChams Public Relations Committee meeting is scheduled to meet this morning at 9 a.m. in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center.


Sportsmen get their chance to stock up on all kinds of gear at the Hunting and Fishing 2014 exhibition starting today at Lenexpo. Everything from rods and reels to boats, motorcycles and equipment for underwater hunting will be on sale so that any avid outdoorsman can always be prepared.



Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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