Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych makes a statement during a news conference in the Russian southern city of Rostov-on-Don on March 11.
Interesting read from Interfax headlined: "Putin Slams Yanukovych's Behavior Before Ouster":
Russian President Vladimir Putin has slammed the conduct of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych after the latter signed a landmark European Union-brokered agreement with the then opposition on February 21.
Speaking at a conference of the Valdai international discussion club, Putin said he had a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama after the signature of the pact, which had guarantees from the foreign ministers of three EU countries behind it.
"We discussed those matters. We mentioned ways in which we would help implement that agreement. Russia made certain commitments, and I heard my American counterpart say he was ready to make certain commitments as well," the Russian president said.
The same day, Putin said, he had a phone call from Yanukovych, who said "he believed the situation had stabilized and he was going to go to a conference in Kharkiv."
"I must admit that I expressed some concern, I asked whether it was a good idea to leave the capital in such a situation. He answered that he believed that it was safe because there was a signed document. I'll tell you more: I answered him, saying that I doubted it would all be so well but that it was his own responsibility -- he was the president, after all," Putin said.
He said he had advised Yanukovych not to withdraw security forces from Kyiv for a while. "He said yes, of course, I realize that. He then went away and ordered all the law enforcement forces to be withdrawn from Kyiv. Great performance!" Putin said.
After that armed men seized the headquarters of the president's office in Kyiv and government and opened fire on a motorcade in which the prosecutor general was traveling, the Russian leader said.
Yanukovych then asked to meet with Putin in Rostov-on-Don in Russia because he claimed he didn't want to be too far from Ukraine. But then it turned out that Yanukovych wouldn't be able to get to Rostov because "they started aiming their rifles at him," Putin said.
As a result, Yanukovych was taken to Crimea and was then helped to flee to Russia, according to Putin.