Yet another Ukraine truce lasted all but a few hours. Civilian stormed the presidential palace Saturday morning and now control most of it.
President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev and is now in an Eastern Ukraine city closer to Russia.
Ukraine’s Leader Flees the Capital; Elections Called
The New York Times reports Ukraine’s Leader Flees the Capital; Elections Called.
Abandoned by his own guards and reviled across the Ukrainian capital but still determined to recover his shredded authority, President Viktor F. Yanukovych fled Kiev on Saturday to denounce what he called a violent coup, as his official residence, his vast, colonnaded office complex and other once impregnable centers of power fell without a fight to throngs of joyous citizens stunned by their triumph.
In the capital, protesters carrying clubs and some wearing masks were in control of the entryways to the presidential palace Saturday morning, and watched as thousands of citizens strolled through the grounds, gazing in wonder at the mansions, zoo, golf course and enclosure for rare pheasants, set in a birch forest on a bluff soaring above the Dnieper River.
With nobody clearly in charge, other than the so far remarkably disciplined fighting squads set up to protect a protest encampment in Independence Square, the Ukrainian capital and even the whole country faced a potentially dangerous power vacuum.
With security officers having disappeared from the streets, protesters claimed to have established control over Kiev. By Saturday morning they had secured key intersections of the city and the government district of the capital, which riot police officers had fled, leaving behind burned military trucks, mattresses and heaps of garbage at the positions they had occupied for months. There was no sign of looting, either in the city or in the presidential compound.