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Ukraine’s president Yanukovych takes sick leave amid calls for resignation

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Oksana Grytsenko and Luke Harding
London Guardian
January 30, 2014

Ukraine’s embattled president Viktor Yanukovych is taking sick leave as the country’s political crisis continues with no sign of resolution.

A statement on the presidential website on Thursday said Yanukovych is on sick leave due to an acute respiratory illness and high fever. There was no indication of how long he might be on leave or whether he would be able to do any work. The chief medical officer said the president was suffering from a “severe cold with a high temperature”.

Yanukovych is under pressure after two months of major protests seeking his resignation, early elections and other demands. On Tuesday Yanukovych’s hardline prime minister Mykola Azarov quit in an apparent concession to the opposition. The president has yet to appoint a successor. Azarov’s deputy Serhiy Arbuzov has taken over as interim PM.

Yanukovych’s illness is another unpredictable element in Ukraine’s already combustible political drama. His predecessor Viktor Yushchenko fell dramatically ill in 2004 after apparently being poisoned with dioxin, while standing against Russian-backed Yanukovych in the presidential election.

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This article was posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 6:50 am

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