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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. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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