August 29, 2014 16:02 UTC

In the News

Yanukovych Denies Ouster; Promises to Fight for Ukraine

Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych speaks at a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia, Friday, February 28, 2014.  (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych speaks at a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia, Friday, February 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

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  • Yanukovych Denies Ouster; Promises to Fight for Ukraine


From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.                                                                                               
One week has passed since lawmakers in Ukraine voted to oust Viktor Yanukovych as president.  Mr. Yanukovych told a press conference on Friday that he was forced to leave Ukraine, but denied being ousted.  “Nobody has overthrown me,” he said.  “I was compelled to leave Ukraine due to a direct threat to my life”.  Mr. Yanukovych spoke in Russian to reporters in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.  He announced plans to return and fight for his country.  He said he wants to fight for Ukraine’s future against those who took control of the country through terror and fear. 
 
Also on Friday, Ukraine’s new government accused Russian forces of carrying out a "military invasion and occupation" at two airports.  Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page that armed men were blocking the Belbek airport in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.  Russia has a naval base in the area.
 
Unidentified men were also guarding the international airport in Simferopol, the Crimean capital.  As of late Friday, the airport was still open.  But all of the activity has some people concerned about their well-being. 
              
Those guarding the airport appeared a day after unidentified gunmen took control of government buildings in Crimea. 
 
The crisis began a week ago when Ukraine’s parliament voted to oust President Yanukovych.  The vote followed three months of street protests.  The demonstrations began in November after the president backed out of a trade deal with the European Union.  His move was seen as an effort to strengthen relations with Russia instead of getting closer to Europe.  The protests were peaceful at first, but then turned violent.  More than 75 people were reported killed in the week before the president was ousted.  
Parliament wasted no time in replacing Mr. Yanukovych.  Lawmakers elected parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as the country’s acting leader.  He immediately announced plans to form a new government.  Mr. Turchynov said it would lead the country until new presidential elections in May.  
 
Valerii Pekar is a Ukrainian researcher and political commentator.  He said the events of the past week are Ukraine’s final break with its recent past.
 
 “We call it a government of national trust because it’s a transitional government, which will keep the country alive during preparation of the free, transparent elections, which we need.”
 
This week, Mr. Turchynov accused the former government of stealing billions of dollars from the state treasury.  On Friday, Switzerland ordered restrictions on any money in Swiss banks that belongs to Mr. Yanukovych and the people traveling with him.  The Swiss government wants to avoid the stealing of money that belongs to the Ukrainian public.  Austria also said it was freezing the bank accounts of 18 Ukrainians after being asked to do so by Ukraine’s new government.    
                      
And that’s In the News from VOA Learning English.  I’m Steve Ember.
 
*For the latest information about events in Ukraine, go to www.VOANews.com

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by: Sergei from: Russia, Novokuibushevsk
03/05/2014 7:52 AM
The events happening in Ukraine are too sad, because peaceful citizens can not live normal life. It seems the new government doesn't trouble about Ukraine's folk. "Former president" had to stop recent a mess over on the streets as soon as possible. But unfortunately, he hasn't done it.


by: Donizetti Alves from: Brezil
03/05/2014 12:38 AM
Look for this fact whit much attention!!!! Two word war began near this place!!! The history replay again!!! The earth don't support more one word war....


by: elena from: Romania
03/02/2014 6:34 PM
It is a bitter joke: the comunism dies but not surrender.


by: Dmitriy Gumburov from: Ukraine
03/02/2014 7:42 AM
Why you said nothing about, what the price which cost for Ukraine the oust this criminal? I say! It about 80 men killed by snipers. And now when Ukraine is in a postsurgury condition (the tumor was removed) mr.Putin is cutting a part of her body. It is very hurt, believe me!


by: BIJU.P.Y from: SOUTH INDIA
03/01/2014 9:03 AM
The country needs a powerful, reliable person at the centre. Any man trying to live by sword will die by the sword. But it will take a long time to become clear who was right and who was wrong. Let's wait. Thank you.


by: Yao Yuan-chao from: Taipei, Taiwan
03/01/2014 8:33 AM
Reading this article, what makes me most interested in is not what Yanuovych has said about his leaving Ukraine, but the place of Crimea, since it has something to do with China. In 1945 before the end of World War II, a meeting was held in Yalta, Crimea among US President Roosevelt, United Kingdom Prime Minister Churchill and Soviet Union General Secretary Stalin. At the meeting, as a precondition that Soviet would enter the war against Japan, America should recognize Mongolian independence from China and Soviet interest in the Manchrian railways and PortArthur; these were agreed without Chinese representation or consent.


by: Kamil from: Moscow, Russia
03/01/2014 6:54 AM
unfortunately people of Ukraine caught up in geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West. Swiss banks don't want to steal money from Ukraine but what are all bailouts and loans would mean. crookery is in the blood of politics. for Ukraine there should not be a choice ether Russia or West. both are important.

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