May 25,2007 00:00
KIEV, Ukraine - Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree mandating the country's Interior Ministry troops report directly to him instead of the ministry.
Yushchenko made the move after Interior Minister Vasyl Tsushko defied him by sending in riot police to defend a recently dismissed prosecutor from protesters in Kiev, RIA Novosti reported Friday.
Yushchenko said the decree was to "prevent real and potential threats to national interests and prevent the use of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry troops in the interests of certain political forces."
His first act as the head of the Interior troops was to order them stationed around buildings of the Prosecutor General's Office and the Constitutional Court. There were about 40,000 troops under the Interior Ministry.
His decree explained the move, saying: "There have been attempts to seize the buildings in which state authorities work," Interfax reported.
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