US & World

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

Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
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Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A view of a clock and candelabra inside the Mezhygirya, the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Visitors pose in front of the Mezhygirya, the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
People visit the residence of the deposed Ukrainian president near Kiev on February 23, 2014. Thousands of Ukrainians continue to flock to the gargantuan residence, some 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Kiev, to wonder at the 140-hectare (345-acre) grounds, take in the gaudy mansions dripping in gold and marble, and marvel at the antelopes in the menagerie. A new era dawned in Ukraine on February 23 when parliament appointed a pro-Western interim leader after impeaching a defiant president Viktor Yanukovych, whose whereabouts remain a mystery following a week of carnage after months of mostly peaceful protests.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A Maidan (Independence Square) self-defence activist shows a bottle of vodka to visitors at the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A man takes a picture of a woman as they visit the estate of the deposed Ukrainian president near Kiev on February 23, 2014. Thousands of Ukrainians continue to flock to the gargantuan residence, some 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Kiev, to wonder at the 140-hectare (345-acre) grounds, take in the gaudy mansions dripping in gold and marble, and marvel at the antelopes in the menagerie. A new era dawned in Ukraine on February 23 when parliament appointed a pro-Western interim leader after impeaching a defiant president Viktor Yanukovych, whose whereabouts remain a mystery following a week of carnage after months of mostly peaceful protests.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A picture shows a general view of the estate of the deposed Ukrainian president, near Kiev on February 23, 2014. Thousands of Ukrainians continue to flock to the gargantuan residence, some 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Kiev, to wonder at the 140-hectare (345-acre) grounds, take in the gaudy mansions dripping in gold and marble, and marvel at the antelopes in the menagerie. A new era dawned in Ukraine on February 23 when parliament appointed a pro-Western interim leader after impeaching a defiant president Viktor Yanukovych, whose whereabouts remain a mystery following a week of carnage after months of mostly peaceful protests.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Visitors look at the boat-shaped "Galleon" restaurant inside the compound of the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
People at the motorcycle and car collection of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, at the Mezhyhirya, his former residence, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows the car collection of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych at the Mezhyhirya, his former residence, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows part of the car collection of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych at the Mezhyhirya, his former residence, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Visitors enter the Mezhygirya, the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Visitors walk in front of the Mezhygirya, the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Visitors walk up the steps of the Mezhygirya, the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Visitors walk near the Mezhygirya, the luxury residence of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, not far from Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the "mass murder" of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow. AFP PHOTO / YURIY DYACHYSHYN
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows a view of a bathrrom at the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows a view of a bathrrom at the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows a bottle of brandy featuring a photo of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych at the Mezhyhirya, his former residence, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A Maidan (Independence Square) self-defence activist plays a piano as they guard the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A Maidan (Independence Square) self-defence activist presents an item as they guard the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
People walk on the territory of Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, Kiev's region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb, 22, 2014. Viktor Yanukovych is not in his official residence of Mezhyhirya, which is about 20 km (12.5 miles) north of the capital. Ukrainian security and volunteers from among Independence Square protesters have joined forces to protect the presidential countryside retreat from vandalism and looting. Yanukovych left Kiev for his support base in the country's Russian-speaking east, but an aide said that he has no intention of abandoning power. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Efrem Lukatsky/AP
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A man holds a golf club with the name of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on a golf course at the Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside residence in Mezhyhirya, Kiev's region, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb, 22, 2014. Viktor Yanukovych is not in his official residence of Mezhyhirya, which is about 20 kilometres north of the capital. Ukrainian security and volunteers from among Independence Square protesters have joined forces to protect the presidential countryside retreat from vandalism and looting.(AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)
Andrew Lubimov/AP
Photo shows a view of the interior of the Mezhyhirya, the private residence of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, near Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant on February 24 for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych over the 'mass murder' of protesters and appealed for $35 billion in Western aid to pull the crisis-hit country from the brink of economic collapse. The dramatic announcements by the ex-Soviet nation's new Western-leaning team -- approved by parliament over a chaotic weekend that saw the pro-Russian leader go into hiding -- came as a top EU envoy arrived in Kiev to buttress its sudden tilt away from Moscow.
A 'Wanted' poster showing a portrait of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych is stuck on a car window in central Kiev on February 24, 2014. Ukraine issued an arrest warrant for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych on February 24 as the country's new rulers launched a probe over the 'mass murder' of protesters in a week of carnage in Kiev. Ukraine said it will need $35 billion in urgent foreign assistance and asked Western donors to convene an international conference within two weeks that could agree a financial rescue plan.
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images


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.