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Yanukovych’s speech seen akin to Kremlin rhetoric

An expert said the ousted president’s speech was aimed at Russian media

Published: Updated:

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s defiant statements from a Russian town on Tuesday echoed the Kremlin’s rhetoric over Ukraine, a political expert has said.

The key messages of Yanukovych appear to be aimed at reaching Russian TV channels and Russia’s electorate, said political expert Valery Chaly, Deputy Director of the Razumkov Centre, a Ukrainian think tank, according to Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.

“He [President Yanukovych - Ed.] only laid out the Kremlin’s main talking points and rhetoric,” said Chaly.

A special emphasis of the speech was foreign Western officials, to whom Yanukovych referred as “patrons of the evil forces,” Chaly added.

Speaking in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Yanukovych repeated the Russian claim that the new Ukrainian authorities are kowtowing to radical nationalists, Associated Press reported.

He alleged that authorities could use military force against Russian-speaking eastern regions, pushing Ukraine toward a civil war.

Yanukovych said the May 25 presidential vote is illegal and said he would call on the U.S. Congress to halt Washington's financial aid to what he called the “bandit regime” in Ukraine.

He added he would soon return to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who will fly to the Washington to meet with Barack Obama on Wednesday, called on Western nations to defend Ukraine against a nation “that is armed to the teeth and that has nuclear weapons,” according to Reuters.

He asked Russia, the U.S. and European Union member Britain to abide by a treaty signed in 1994, in which they pledged to guarantee Ukraine's security in exchange for giving up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons.

“We are not asking for anything from anyone,” Yatsenyuk told parliament. “We are asking for just one thing: military aggression has been used against our country. Those who guaranteed that this aggression will not take place, must form the one side pull out troops and from the other side must defend our independent, sovereign state.”

Parliament was to vote later Wednesday on the motion on mobilization and the appeal to the West.