Olga Tanas
February 28, 2014

Ukraine’s deposed ex-President Viktor Yanukovych said he’s still the eastern European country’s rightful leader and that he was forced to leave because of threats to his life and those of his family.

Speaking for the first time since leaving Ukraine, Yanukovych told reporters in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don that the country should abide by a peace accord sealed a week ago with European Union diplomats under which he’d remain leader through December. He labeled the parliament in Kiev illegitimate and vowed to return when it’s safe.

“The whole Ukrainian people were cheated,” Yanukovych said. “I’d like to get an answer from those who signed this agreement, those who acted as guarantors.”

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