Putin: organizers of coup d’etat in Kyiv wanted to physically eliminate Yanukovich

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The organizers of the last year coup d’etat in Kiev were going to physically eliminate Viktor Yanukovich, who at that time was the President of Ukraine, sated the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I invited to the Kremlin the leaders of our special services, the Ministry of Defense to set them the task to save the life of the Ukrainian President, otherwise, he would have been killed,” said Putin in the movie “Crimea. The way to the motherland”, which was broadcast by the TV channel “Rossiya 1”.

In the evening of February 21 Yanukovich told Putin on the phone about his plans to take part in a regional conference in Kharkiv, said the Russian President. “I will not deny, I expressed my point of view, that in such a situation it was better not to leave the capital. Then Yanukovich called me to say that he decided to go. I advised at least not to withdraw the security forces. “Oh, yes, I understand,” Yanukovich answered and left the capital, withdrawing the security forces!” added Putin.

On the same day the opposition seized the presidential administration and the government. “After that, on February 22, Yanukovich called me again. He said that he was in Kharkiv. He wanted to get advice, to talk about the situation. Of course, I said that I was ready at all times,” Putin admitted.

Meanwhile, it was reported they were preparing not only to capture Yanukovich, but also to physically eliminate him, Putin said. “If he didn’t exist, for the opposition it would be easier to achieve the goals they had set,” he explained.

Putin proposed Yanukovich to meet, for example, in Rostov, and expressed his willingness to arrive. But soon Yanukovich’s security guards told on the phone that they could not go. “Later we learned that at that time Yanukovich’s cortege had already been shot, as well as the cortege of the Attorney General Pshenko and one guardian had been injured. Thus, by that time there had already been made a coup d’etat and, in fact, the opposition had started the operation on Yanukovich’s capture and elimination,” Putin highlighted.

Yanukovich went to the Crimea. “Our radio observations services, in fact, began to follow his cortege. Every time we were fixing his location. But when I was shown the map, it became clear that he would be soon ambushed. Moreover, according to the available data, the opposition had prepared heavy machine guns not to spend much time,” said Putin. It was on February 22-23.

“Yanukovich’s guards were informed that it was impossible to move further. And when he was found thanks to some technical means, we were ready to take him straight out of Donetsk, by land, by sea and by air,” the Russian President continued. But Yanukovich did not want to move to Russia and went to the Crimea. A few days after the coup d’etat events unfolded, he was on the territory of Ukraine.

“However, a few days later, when it became clear that there was no one in Kyiv to negotiate with, he asked us to take him to the territory of Russia,” informed Putin.

The fact that we saved his life and the life of his family, I think it’s a good noble thing,” believes the Russian President. “I do not want to judge his actions. He said: “I could not sign the order on the use of weapons,” said Putin and added: “Can you blame him for that? I do not know. All in all, I’m not going to do that. I think I have no rights to do that. Whether it’s good or bad, inaction begets heavy consequences. It’s obvious.”

How Yanukovich was deprived of presidency

On February 4 the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law on deprivation of Viktor Yanukovich’s presidency. Such a decision had been taken by the Parliament for the first time in the history of Ukraine. As expected, the consequences of that are the official deprivation of all the benefits and privileges that the former Heads of State have.

The Federation Council said by that decision the Verkhovna Rada recognized the unconstitutional coup d’etat.

In his turn, the Head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky believes that the decision of the Ukrainian Parliament “is very doubtful from a legal point of view.”

Termination of powers

The Verkhovna Rada terminated the powers of Yanukovich on February 22, 2014. He was elected to the post on February 25, 2010.

After the coup d’etat in Kyiv Yanukovich left Ukraine and asked the Russian authorities to “ensure his personal safety from the actions of extremists.”

In April last year, Yanukovich was in the Rostov region, where he had several meetings with journalists. At the same time he did not exclude the possibility of his moving to Moscow, as it was more convenient.

Moreover, the politician stated he had left Ukraine because of threat to his own life and the lives of his family. “I was not deprived of the presidency. I was forced to leave Ukraine because of direct threats to my life and the lives of my nearest and dearest,” he said.

In Ukraine they started several criminal cases against Yanukovich. On January 20 the Court of Kyiv decided to arrest the ex-president. Earlier, the Interpol put him on international wanted list. He has a so-called red card – a request for his arrest and extradition to Ukraine “for the purpose of prosecution or punishment.” It was explained that the politician was wanted by his country’s request for stealing large amounts of funds and complicity in stealing funds committed on large scale and in an organized group.

Text and pictures by TASS