[QODLink]
Europe

Yanukovich seeks sanctuary in Russia

Deposed leader says he is still head of state, with reports from Moscow indicating Yanukovich has fled Ukraine.

Last updated: 27 Feb 2014 15:16
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Ukrainians have endured months of violence, political uncertainty and economic upheaval [EPA]

Viktor Yanukovich still regards himself as the president of Ukraine and wants Russia to protect him from the "actions of extremists", according to Russian news reports, which also indicate that he has left Ukraine.

The ousted leader, who fled the capital Kiev last weekend, broke his five-day silence with remarks reported on Thursday.

In a statement issued to the three agencies, the 63-year-old said: "I still consider myself to be the legal head of the Ukrainian state. There have been threats of reprisals towards me and my allies. I am compelled to ask the Russian Federation to ensure my personal security from the actions of extremists."

An unnamed source, who was quoted by all the Russian news agencies, implied that Yanukovich had left Ukraine and was in Russia, according to Reuters news agency.

"After Yanukovich appealed to the authorities of the Russian Federation to ensure his personal security, we can say that this request was satisfied on Russian territory". Russian TV said he was in Russian territory, but his precise whereabouts are unconfirmed.

In his statement Yanukovich added that decisions by the Ukrainian parliament - the appointment of an acting president and a cabinet - did "not have legitimate character." He said that while he would not order the armed forces to intervene, he would "fight to the end" for measures to take Ukraine out of its "deep political crisis".

His remarks came as tensions escalated in Crimea, where armed gunmen entered government buildings overnight, and led to a fiery exchange between Moscow and Kiev.

273

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list