File - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych talk during a news conference in Moscow, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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While Yanukovich insisted Friday that he is still the president of Ukraine, the facts point otherwise, and the installation of a Western-backed interim government in Kiev poses a direct challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his position on the global stage.On a high after the success of the Sochi Winter Games, and seemingly having beaten the West in the battle for Ukraine, after the president decided not to sign a trade deal with the EU, Putin now finds himself having to put on a brave face, the popular protests having forced Yanukovich to leave the country.Russian military intervention could lead to the geographical division of Ukraine.
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