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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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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