Viktor Yanukovych has said he still considers himself the legitimate president of the country, ITAR -TASS reported on Feb. 27.
"I address the people of Ukraine," Yanukovych said. "I still consider myself the legitimate president of Ukraine, elected on the basis of the free will of Ukrainian citizens. I cannot be indifferent to the tragic events in my homeland. I think that the crisis settlement agreement signed by me and Ukrainian opposition leaders in the presence of respected Western partners in Ukraine on February 21, 2014 has not been executed."
"I have to ask the Russian authorities to ensure my personal safety from the actions of extremists," the president said. "Unfortunately, the situation in the Verkhovna Rada has no legitimate basis. Decisions taken by Parliament were in the absence of many members of the Party of Regions faction. Other factions feared for their safety and some were subjected to physical violence and forced to leave the territory of Ukraine. This is illegal."
"I am convinced that in these conditions, all decisions will soon prove to be ineffective and will not be fulfilled," he added.
"In this situation, I officially declare my determination to fight to the end for the implementation of important compromise agreements on Ukraine overcoming deep political crisis," he said.
"It becomes obvious that the people in the south- east of Ukraine and Crimea do not accept the anarchy and lawlessness in the country when the ministers are elected by a crowd in the square," he said. "As the incumbent president, I did not allow the Ukrainian armed forces to intervene in the internal political events. I order it now. If anyone gave such an order to the Armed Forces and power structures, such orders would be illegal and criminal."
Mass protests in Ukraine began on November 21, 2013, when the government announced the suspension of the preparation of the Association Agreement with the EU. The protests occurred throughout Ukraine. Large-scale riots resumed in Kiev on February 18. More than 80 people were killed and 800 injured.
President Yanukovych and opposition leaders signed an agreement to settle the conflict in Ukraine on February 21.
Verkhovna Rada has changed the constitution, the leadership of Parliament, Interior Ministry, Ministry of Defence and Security Service and dismissed a number of ministers.
Parliament transferred the Ukrainian president's powers to Speaker Turchinov and set out presidential elections for May 25. Yanukovych said that he remains the legally elected president, but the country has all the features of a coup.
Translated by NH
Edited by SM