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Trial Of Ukraine's Ex-President Yanukovych Postponed Due To His Hospitalization

Viktor Yanukovych gives a press conference in Moscow in March.

Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's treason trial in Kyiv has been postponed due to his hospitalization in Russia.

Judge Vladyslav Devyatko of the Obolon district court in Kyiv ruled on November 19 that the trial will resume on December 5 and Yanukovych is expected to make his final statement via video link, even from his hospital bed if he is still ill.

Yanukovych was scheduled to make his statement in the case via video link from Russia on November 19. But his lawyer, Oleksandr Horoshynskyy, said his client's current physical state did not allow him to do so.

Horoshynskyy said earlier on November 18 that Yanukovych received emergency treatment at a Moscow hospital on November 16 for injuries to his spine and his knee.

Horoshynskyy is one of two lawyers representing the exiled Yanukovych at his trial in absentia in Kyiv.

Prosecutors in Kyiv are seeking life imprisonment for Yanukovych on charges of high treason, taking deliberate actions that violated Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and complicity with Russian authorities.

Yanukovych abandoned the Ukrainian president's office in late February 2014 and fled to Russia in the face of protests triggered by his decision to scrap a landmark deal with the European Union and, instead, improve economic ties with Moscow.

Dozens of people were killed when Yanukovych's government attempted to clamp down on the pro-European Union protests known as the Euromaidan.

Yanukovych's ouster was soon followed by Russia's seizure and illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and by Moscow's support for pro-Russia separatists fighting against Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Ukrayinska Pravda and Gordon