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Ukraine crisis spirals as President Yushchenko takes control of armed forces

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Ukraine crisis spirals as President Yushchenko takes control of armed forces


The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, has said he will not let his country descend into civil war. But the President, Viktor Yushchenko, has announced he has taken control of the armed forces of the Ministry of the Interior. Overnight the political power struggle between the President and the Prime Minister turned physical, with brawls outside the office of the Prosecutor General, Svyatoslav Piskun.

The country’s Constitutional Court is still debating the legality of the President’s decision to dissolve parliament, but President Yushchenko has unilaterally sacked the Prosecutor General. The Prime Minister, with the support of the police, took back the office of the Prosecutor General overnight ousting a presidential guard.

Ukrainians supporting their Prime Minister have mounted their own guard outside the building. Riot police loyal to the Prime Minister literally stormed their way back in to put the Prosecutor General back at his desk. The Prosecutor General says he was sacked for refusing to dismiss three of the constitutional court judges.

President Yushenko says those protecting the Prosecutor General have broken the law by using such force. The President has cancelled a planned meeting with other Eastern European heads of State later today. The Prime Minister says the President’s actions are dangerous.

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