Interpol (International Police Oganization) officials reported on Thursday that they were asked by the current Ukrainian government to issue a global alert for the capture of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, an alleged Putin apparatchik who opposed Ukrainians' desire to join the European Union.
In the midst of what many believe is a growing crisis, the Ukrainian officials hope that Interpol's "Red Notice," which would charge Yanukovych for his abuse of power and for the murders of protesters, will lead to his capture.
The crisis in Ukraine began with a heated demonstration by thousands of Ukrainians who opposed his rejection of a European Union partnership. The protest then became a violent riot calling for his ouster as president.
Yanukovych's reaction to the violent protests caused the killing of about 90 of his citizens, and the world was shocked when he had police snipers arbitrarily shooting protesters.
According to Interpol officials, who are located in Lyon, France, the Red Notice request is under review by the group in order to examine the case's facts and the legitimacy of the charges. The Interpol officials claim that they will issue a Red Notice if the criminal allegations can be determined to be based on criminal justice interests and not political interests.
Interpol's member nations -- which include Iran, Pakistan, China and other countries considered human rights violators -- were notified of the Yanukovych Red Notice review and there will be no comment by Interpol's chief until a decision is reached to issue the alert or turn down the Ukrainian government's request.
Red Notices are transmitted to the law enforcement agencies of member nations when Interpol wishes to inform them that an arrest warrant exists for a suspect or criminal enterprise.
Red Notices seek the arrest and extradition of wanted fugitives. However, since Interpol doesn't have jurisdiction in member countries, Red Notices are not international arrest warrants, according to Interpol officials.