[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.