Newscast Media KIEV—Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in
Ukraine in a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday,
calling for an end to violence in the crisis-hit country, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
During the phone conversation, Putin expressed condolences to the Italian prime
minister for the death of an Italian journalist in Ukraine, and called for an immediate
halt of violence in southeastern Ukraine.
“The leaders of the two countries have exchanged opinions on the situation in Ukraine
over the results of the presidential election that was held May 25,” the Kremlin said in
The statement said that Putin had stressed the necessity to stop the punitive
operation in southeastern Ukraine and to establish peaceful dialogue between Kiev
and the regions.
Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter Andrei Mironov were killed by
mortar fire on the eve of Sunday’s presidential elections near the eastern city of
Slaviansk. According to media reports, a group of foreign reporters came under mortar
fire in the village of Andreyevka, in the city outskirts. French photographer William
Roguelon was injured in the same incident.
Billionaire businessmen Petro Poroshenko has been declared the provisional victor in
the election with over 95 percent of ballots counted. He will take over the post from
President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country during a series of violent protests
which led to his unconstitutional overthrow on February 22.
Voting took place in a total of 189 constituencies of Ukraine amid a large-scale
military operation launched by the new Kiev authorities to crack down on protesters
refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the government. Twenty-one candidates ran
in the race.
Moscow has said it is ready for dialogue with Poroshenko.
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Viktor Yanukovych says he’s still the legitimate president
of Ukraine, and that the country’s current authorities are “fascist thugs.”
In his first public appearance since he fled Kyiv one week ago Yanukovych spoke at a
news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on February 28.
“The time has come for me to say that I intend to continue the fight for the future of
Ukraine against those who are trying, through terror and fear, to take charge over it,”
Yanukovych told reporters. “And I decided to speak publicly about that.”
Yanukovych denied that he had been removed from power, maintaining that he had
been forced to leave because of direct threats to his safety.
“Nobody has ousted me,” he said. “I was forced to leave Ukraine because of an
immediate threat to my life and the life of my loved ones.”
He added that he would return to Ukraine only after receiving guarantees of his
Yanukovych insisted that Ukraine should remain “united and whole,” including Crimea,
where there is a major Russian influence.
Yanukovych said he would not seek military assistance from anyone to return to the
seat of power in Kyiv.
He also apologized to Ukrainians for not maintaining stability. He denounced Western
powers for failing to implement the February 21 Western-brokered agreement that
Yanukovych signed with the opposition.
Radio Free Europe