Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych, who has spent the past few weeks attempting to quell protestors who want to see him resign from his post, is apparently on medical leave.
According to a brief statement posted to his website, the president has fallen ill:
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych is on sick leave. It was stated by Deputy Head of the State Affairs Department on Medical Issues Oleksandr Orda. "The President of Ukraine is on sick leave due to acute respiratory disease accompanied by fever," he said.
There's no sign of when he will return. According to the The Guardian, Ukraine's chief medical officer said Yanukovych has a "severe cold with a high temperature." Maybe he caught a chill from the freezing water demonstrators are spraying at government buildings. Or maybe he just has the running-out-of-options blues.
The country's prime minister (along with the rest of the Cabinet) resigned this week and a controversial protest ban has been repealed, allowing amnesty to some activists (if the protests stop), but nothing seems to be making anti-government demonstrators happy. And a $15 billion bailout from Russia, which Yanukovych accepted instead of agreeing to a trade deal with the EU, appears to be in a precarious state.
We hope Yanokovych gets better, but we have a feeling he's got worse problems than a bad cold.
Update: Buzzfeed's foreign affairs reporter Max Seddon writes on Twitter that according to a statement posted to Yanukovych's website, the president -- still on sick leave -- is not likely to negotiate further with protesters:
From sick leave, Yanukovych issues statement saying he has "fulfilled all obligations" i.e. no further concessions http://t.co/d8gBc98isk— max seddon (@maxseddon) January 30, 2014
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.