What did Yanukovych take with him as he fled his mansion? Paintings, guns and a small dog, according to new video

On Feb. 22, as word spread that Viktor Yanukovych had fled Kiev, a large crowd began to descend on his residence in Mezhyhirya, some 12 miles outside the capital. They were shocked by what they found.

The Ukrainian president's mansion had long been rumored to be exceptionally luxurious (some said it cost around $100 million to build), but what was inside was outside many people's wildest imaginations: Yanukovych had a huge collection of luxury cars, his own private zoo, a golf course, and, for some reason, a galleon.

Importantly, as The Post's William Booth mentioned when he visited the residence, there were "CCTV cameras everywhere." Now, those camped out in the mansion have apparently decided to release the footage they took.

In a series of videos uploaded to YouTube under the name Виктор Хонка, security footage captures a large number of people removing goods from the home from Feb. 19 to the early hours of Feb. 22. While it is possible that the videos have been edited in some way, they do appear to actually show the scene: A man who appears to be Yanukovych himself is even seen a couple of times:

The man who appears to be Viktor Yanukovych (YouTube)
The man who appears to be Viktor Yanukovych (YouTube)

So what is Yanukovych removing from the home? For one thing, it appears he is taking a lot of paintings:

The paintings apparently being taken from the Yanukovych mansion (YouTube)
The paintings apparently being taken from the Yanukovych mansion. (YouTube)

Plus lots of guns:

Guns apparently being taken from the Yanukovych mansion (YouTube)
Guns apparently being taken from the Yanukovych mansion. (YouTube)

And a small dog:

The dog seen in Yanukovych's home (YouTube)
The dog seen in Yanukovych's home. (YouTube)

What's remarkable about these videos is that they appear to show the sheer amount of stuff Yanukovych had: He spent three days clearing stuff out of his home and people were still able to find all sorts of things there (including, apparently, a large number of secret documents thrown into a lake).

It also brings into question the argument Yanukovych made in a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Feb. 28, where the ousted president said he had not fled Ukraine, but only left after someone fired at his car, and whether he can actually see himself returning.

You can watch the videos for yourself below:

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Adam Taylor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. Originally from London, he studied at the University of Manchester and Columbia University.
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Adam Taylor | March 12