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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 17 January, 2020

11 things Ukraine's ousted president said during his first public appearance

Viktor Yanukovych spoke to reporters at a news conference in the Russian city of Rostov-On-Don.

Image: Pavel Golovkin/AP/Press Association Images

DEPOSED UKRANIAN PRESIDENT Viktor Yanukovych appeared in public today for the first time since his ousting.

He spoke to reporters at a news conference in the Russian city of Rostov-On-Don.

Following reports that Russian troops were patrolling two Crimean airports earlier, Yanukovych insisted that Crimea must stay a part of the Ukraine. However, he said the standoff was a “natural reaction” to a bandit-like takeover of power by new authorities.

Here are 10 other things Yanukovych revealed.

  • He still believes he is the president of Ukraine.
  • He denounced the new authorities as ‘young neo fascists’.
  • He noted that “terror and chaos” were now prevailing in his country.
  • He blamed the “irresponsible policies of the West for the crisis.
  • He apologised to Ukranian people for not having more strength to endure the situation.
  • However, he insisted he was not overthrown and could “continue to fight” for the future of the nation.
  • He believes the presidential poll due to take place in Ukraine is “illegal” and he will not take part.
  • He has spoken with Vladimir Putin on the telephone since arriving in Russia but has not met him yet. He also noted that he was surprised at how quiet the Russian leader has been on Ukraine’s ongoing situation.
  • He got to Russia thanks to a “patriotically-minded young officer”.
  • He will only return to Ukraine once his personal security is assured.

Germany, France and Poland have all said they are “deeply concerned” over developments on the volatile Crimea peninsula and called for everything to be done to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine.

“Everything must be done in order to reduce the tensions in the eastern regions of the country and to promote a peaceful dialogue between all participating powers,” the three EU countries’ foreign ministers said in a joint statement.

Ukrainian authorities said they had regained control of two Crimean airports seized during an “armed invasion” by Russian forces that prompted the country’s new pro-EU leaders to appeal for protection from the west.

Additional reporting by AFP

Related: Google Maps ‘renames Kiev street’ after people killed in clashes

More: Armed men are patrolling one of Ukraine’s main airports

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