25 pictures from the Mezhyhirya: The opulent estate of Ukraine's former president

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On Monday, Ukraine's acting government issued an arrest warrant for former president Viktor Yanukovych, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters.

Thousands have since traveled to Yanukovych's closely guarded suburban countryside residence of Mezhygirya — a gargantuan compound nine miles from Kiev which became a symbol of his alleged corruption and contempt for democracy — to marvel at the gold and marbled mansions, statues, stables of cars, and antelopes in the menagerie. 

The grounds were abandoned by security on Feb. 22 after Ukrainian members of parliament voted to oust Yanukovych and bring presidential elections forward to May 25. Yanukovych has reportedly fled to the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

On site, anti-government protesters and activists joined forces with security and volunteers to protect the 345-acre mansion estate from vandalism and looting.

To give you a sense of what they're trying to protect, we've assembled a gallery of images that reveal the compound's lavish treasures.

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