The following is a live translation of overthrown Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s press conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on March 11. Yanukovych spoke for seven minutes in Russian and did not answer questions.
“Because there are rumors spread in Ukraine about me, I would like to say that I am alive, but can’t say that I feel well because I can’t watch without deep anxiety what’s happening in Ukraine.
“Veiled as a legal government, a gang of ultra-nationalists and fascists are running the country. Just think about it, they want the army to stand under the banner of Bandera.” (Editor’s note: Stepan Bandera is an iconic nationalist who lived from 1909-1959)
“I would like to ask those who cover for these dark forces in the West: are you blind? have you forgotten what fascism is?”
“Soldiers and officers understand what you’re worth and they will not fulfill your order. I remain not only the legal president, but the chief commander. I did not turn down my authority, and I am alive. They say in the U.S. that I ran from the country. I repeat: I did not run. as armed people basically attempted a coup with arms, I was still on the territory of Ukraine. As soon as circumstances allow. I am convinced it’s not long to wait. I will return to Kyiv.
“The (presidential) elections in May (25) are totally anti-constititional and illegal. The power organs formed as a result will not be legitimate, not to mention that they will be conducted under total control bandit forces. The US is planning to give $1 billion to this government. But I remind that (U.S. law) bans the government from giving money to a government that toppled the legal president. I will address the Senate and the Congress to give legal assessment to this decision.
“An economic crunch is coming. You, the ones who gave criminal orders, will sooner or later – rather sooner – you will be held responsible. We will survive this turmoil. People fooled by you (current authorities) will see the light. The country will rise up and unite.
“They are radicals who seized governmental buildings in many Ukrainian cities. Unidentified people with masks now patrol many Ukrainian cities. The social and economic situation will be worsening. Our government had a plan on sustain economy. Now, after the anti-constitutional takeover they (the acting government) will blame me and even Russia for economic crunch. But I believe the country will unite though.”
(Viktor Yanukovich. Photo: Igor Kruglenko )