Yanukovych Says He Will Continue to Fight for Ukraine’s Future
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has vowed to fight back for office and to struggle against "terror and fear".
He described recent events in Ukraine as "lawlessness, lack of authority, and terror" and said he deems the Ukrainian parliament "illegitimate", the BBC quoted him as saying.
During what was his first public appearance since fleeing Kiev last week, Yanukovych asserted he had not been "overthrown", thus repeating earlier remarks in an official statement claiming he still considered himself President.
He explained he had been forced to leave Ukraine after threats to his life and would come back when there were guarantees for his security and that of his family.
Yanukovych made it clear he "never gave orders for the police to shoot", referring to the bloody crackdown of last week's renewed unrest. He added, however, that the police have the right to self-defence.
Yanukovych criticized Western governments for aggravating the Ukrainian crisis, but also expressed astonishment at the lack of reaction by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ukraine's Prosecutor General declared earlier he would ask Russia to extradite Yanukovych if he is actually hiding there.
His current residence was proved to be in Russia as his news conference was held in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, near the Ukrainian border.