Ukraine

Ukraine's President Flies to Sochi Amid Protests

Kremlin claims protests are a US-financed coup attempt

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Ukraine's embattled president flew to Russia on Thursday as a senior Kremlin aide urged him to stamp out a standoff on the streets, calling it an attempted coup financed and armed by the United States.

Caught in a rip-tide of competing enticements and threats from Russia and the West, President Viktor Yanukovich flew to Sochi where he was expected to meet Vladimir Putin before the Russian leader opens the Winter Olympics on Friday evening.

The bitter tug-of-war going on between east and west broke out into dirty tricks on the Internet, with what appeared to be online leaks of bugged recordings of top U.S. and EU diplomats discussing efforts to help Yanukovich's opponents into power.