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Ukraine's Parliament Votes To Remove Yanukovych

Yanukovych’s biggest political rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison where she'd been for more than two years.

Ukraine's Parliament Votes To Remove Yanukovych
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Ukraine’s parliament has voted to oust President Viktor Yanukovych and hold new elections this spring.

The vote came not long after Yanukovych told the country in a televised address he would not resign — describing the events as a coup and likening the situation to the rise of Nazi Germany. (Via UBR-TV

The stunning turn of events came a day after Yanukovych signed on to a Western-brokered deal Friday that stripped him of much of his power.  (Via BBC

While the deal was hailed as a breakthrough, many in the opposition were unsatisfied because it allowed Yanukovych to remain in power.

They’ve been calling for his resignation since November — angry, in part, over his decision to ditch an agreement that would have brought closer ties with Europe. Instead, he accepted a bailout deal from Russia. (Via Channel 4) 

Also Saturday, Yanukovych’s biggest political rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was released from prison where she'd been for more than two years on corruption charges many say were politically-motivated. She told the crowd in Independence Square Saturday, she plans to run for president. (Via Sky News, Euronews)

It's unclear at this point who might fill the apparent power vacuum. The New York Times speculates: "Perhaps an orderly new leadership headed by established opposition parties, perhaps a chaotic cacophony of voices driven by the passions of the street or, most ominously of all, perhaps the establishment of two or more rival power centers pushing the fractured nation into a Yugoslav-style disintegration."

Meanwhile, protesters have effectively taken control of the city of Kiev, seizing the presidential palace Saturday morning. (Via YouTube / Віталій Уманець)

Yanukovych's whereabouts are unclear, though many speculate he fled Kiev for Russian-speaking, eastern Ukraine.