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Rostov-on-Don (Russia), Feb. 28 (Reuters): Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, appearing in public for the first time since he fled from Ukraine to Russia, said today he would not give up the fight for his country’s future.

In the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, he told reporters he had been forced from power by “nationalist, pro-fascist gangsters” and blamed the crisis on the West for “indulging” protesters seeking his overthrow.

The 63-year-old former electrician said lawlessness and chaos had followed an agreement he signed with his opponents last Friday, which was brokered by the EU.

Yanukovich, dressed in a suit and tie, denied he had ordered police to shoot at protesters before he was forced out of power.

Saying he was still the legally elected President, Yanukovich said he had fled Ukraine only because he feared for his life and that of his family. He was ready to return — but only when his safety was guaranteed, he said. He called on Ukrainians to reject the leadership of the country’s new rulers.

 
 
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