Ukrainian Parliament Speaker and closest aide of Yulia Tymoshenko, the freed opposition leader, Oleksander Turchinov has been installed as Ukraine’s acting president. On Sunday, the Parliament voted in favor of entrusting Turchinov with the duties of ousted President Viktor Yanukovich.
Yanukovich, who abandoned the capital on Sunday, headed to his native place in the east of the country. From there, he denounced what he referred to as a “coup d’etat”.
Turchinov is from Dnipropetrovsk in southeastern Ukraine, which is also the hometown of Tymoshenko. He is the deputy leader of the Fatherland Party, established by Tymoshenko. In the past, Turchinov served as the chief of the state security service (SBU) in Ukraine, after the Orange Revolution which took place between 2004 and 2005. Tymoshenko co-led the Orange Revolution.
In recent developments, Tymoshenko was released by her captors on Saturday – a day characterized by high intrigue and drama that has turned the tables for the erstwhile Soviet republic’s political system. The former gas-magnate, aged 53, was put behind bars in 2011 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for a gas deal she signed with Russia during her tenure as prime minister. Now that she has been released, there is a possibility that she would contest the upcoming presidential elections on May 25.
By Aruna Iyer