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Ukrainian Parliament Deprives Yanukovych Of Presidential Title

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych takes part in a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-na-Donu in late February 2014.

Ukraine's parliament has adopted legislation stripping Viktor Yanukovych of his presidential title.

The decision by the Verkhovna Rada was backed by 281 lawmakers on February 4. It needed 226 votes to pass.

The move deprives Yanukovych of all the benefits enjoyed by former heads of state.

Yanukovych, who triggered mass protests in Kyiv by refusing to sign a deal tightening ties with the EU in November 2013, fled Kyiv on February 21, 2014 and later arrived in Russia.

Lawmakers said Yanukovych must be stripped of his title because he relieved himself of duties as president "in an unconstitutional way" that threatened the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty and led to "mass violations of the rights and freedoms of citizens."

On February 22, 2014, parliament voted to formally remove Yanukovych from his post on the grounds that he was unable to fulfill his duties.

Two days later it issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of "mass killing of civilians."

Based on reporting by TASS, Unian, and