Ukraine President Becomes Fugitive from Justice
KIEV, Ukraine -- The former president of Ukraine is a fugitive from justice. The country's interim government issued an arrest warrant for Viktor Yanukovich after the mass killings of civilians last week.
Yanukovch fled the capital Saturday and reportedly is in hiding in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainians are mourning the loss of more than 100 people killed in clashes between riot police and protesters. That sadness is settling over a country facing dramatic political changes.
***What's next for Ukraine? CBN News' George Thomas addresses that question and more on The 700 Club, Feb. 24.
At New Life, one of Kiev's largest evangelical churches, Pastor Anatoly Kaluzhny tried to comfort his grieving congregation.
"Many of you today probably feel the same as I do," he said. "There is [sic] a lot of tears in our hearts."
"To be honest I am not euphoric," he continued. "My heart is aching because our nation has paid a big price in blood."
On Saturday, Ukraine's parliament stunned the nation by voting overwhelmingly to impeach Yanukovych.
Hours later, members of parliament picked Oleksandr Turchynov, a prominent evangelical Christian, as interim president until new elections in May.
"Christians were praying on Independence Square," Pastor Kaluzhny said. "We were praying in our churches. People around the world were praying for us, and God did a miracle! Ukraine is a new country."
What happens next is uncertain.
**Should America play a role in Ukraine building it's government? Dr. Manjikian, associate professor at Regent University's Robertson School of Government, talks about this and more on CBN Newswatch, Feb. 24.
As lawmakers scramble to put together a coalition government, skepticism abounds.That includes former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, free after spending the last 30 months in prison.
"We need to totally change the government," protester Krischun Natalia said. "We need a whole new set of leaders. We don't need the rich oligarchs back in power. They need to go."
Meanwhile, Ukraine's neighbor, Russia, is closely watching the changes. It has huge economic ties here, and President Vladimir Putin has publicly talked about bringing Ukraine back into its political orbit.
The protesters instead want closer ties with Europe. On Sunday, America warned Russia not to even think about sending troops into Ukraine.
After months of turmoil, Pastor Kaluzhny issued a plea for reconciliation.
"We need to unite because the society is divided east and west, north and south," he urged. "We need to come together and make very important decisions in the days ahead."