Ukraine's deposed president Viktor Yanukovych issued his first statement for five days on Thursday, insisting he was still Ukrainian head of state and revealing that he had asked Russia to ensure his security.
Here is the text of statement in full:
"I, Viktor Fyodorovich Yanukovych, address the people of Ukraine. I still consider myself to be the legal head of the Ukrainian state, chosen through free elections by Ukrainian citizens.
I consider the agreement signed on 21 February 2014 by myself and the leaders of Ukraine's opposition in the presence of respected Western partners, the Agreement on resolving crisis in Ukraine, not to be implemented.
Extremism rages on the streets of many cities in our country. There have been threats of reprisals toward me and my allies.
I am compelled to ask the Russian Federation to ensure my personal security from the actions of extremists.
Unfortunately, everything that is happening in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine does not have a legitimate character. Decisions taken by parliament in the absence of many members of the Party of Regions faction and other factions who fear for their safety, some of who were victims of physical violence and had to leave the territory of Ukraine, are illegal.
I am convinced that in these conditions all of the decisions taken now will soon prove their ineffectiveness and will not be carried out. In this situation I formally announce my decision to fight to the end for the implementation of important compromise agreements to take Ukraine out of deep political crisis. I call for the immediate return of the situation in our country to the framework of the constitution.
Right now it is becoming evident that the people in southwestern Ukraine and Crimea are not accepting the anarchy and de-facto lawlessness in the country, when ministers are chosen by a crowd on a square.
I, as the president, did not let the armed forces of Ukraine to interfere in internal political events. I order this now as well. In case somebody gives such an order to the armed forces and security agencies, these orders will be illegal and criminal."