Yanukovich blames opponents for Crimea and says he's still president

Harriet Green
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Viktor Yanukovich, former Ukrainian president, has said today that he remains the country’s president and commander-in-chief of its armed forces.

Speaking in public for a news conference, the ousted leader said he blames his opponents for Crimea’s breaking away from Ukraine.

The region’s holding a referendum on joining Russia on Sunday.

He said the Ukrainian presidential election set for 25 May is both illegitimate and illegal.

When it comes to the $1bn of energy and economic aid that’s been pledged by the US, Yanukovich said the move contravenes a US law which prevents it from giving to illegitimate and illegal governments. Referring to where the aid's going, he called Ukraine's interim government “bandits”.