Ukraine’s new authorities navigated tricky political waters Tuesday, launching a new presidential campaign, working on a new government and trying to seek immediate financial help from the West. Yet protests in the country’s pro-Russian region of Crimea and the shooting of a top aide to fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych — a man despised by protesters — have raised fears of divisions and retaliation. Andriy Klyuyev, the chief of staff for Yanukovych until this weekend, was wounded by gunfire Monday and hospitalized, spokesman Artem Petrenko told The Associated Press on Tuesday. It wasn’t clear where in Ukraine the shooting took place. At the Ukrainian parliament in Kyiv, lawmakers delayed the formation of a new government until Thursday, reflecting the political tensions and economic challenges the country faces after Yanukovych fled the capital and went into hiding.
Parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov, who was named Ukraine’s interim leader, is now nominally in charge of this strategic country of 46 million whose ailing economy faces a possible default and whose loyalties are sharply torn between Europe and longtime ruler Russia.
Law enforcement agencies have issued an arrest warrant for Yanukovych over the killing of 82 people, mainly protesters, last week in the bloodiest violence in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history. The president fled after signing a deal Friday with opposition leaders to end months of violent clashes between protesters and police.