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Russia says granted Yanukovych’s request for personal security

June 05, 2014, 19:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“Some time ago Viktor Yanukovych asked to ensure his personal security,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich says

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Viktor Yanukovych

Viktor Yanukovych

© Archive ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

MOSCOW, June 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow agreed to ensure the personal security of Viktor Yanukovych when the Ukrainian president asked Russia to do so a few months ago, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday when asked why Yanukovych has been in Russia for over three months.

“Some time ago Viktor Yanukovych asked to ensure his personal security, and such guarantees and opportunities were granted,” Lukashevich said. “As regards the three-month period, I need to specify that with our legislation experts.”

Ukraine has been in turmoil since a coup occurred in the country in February and new people were brought to power amid anti-government protests that often turned violent as President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave Ukraine for Russia for security reasons.

The protests were triggered by Yanukovych’s decision to suspend the signing of an association deal with the European Union to study the agreement more thoroughly.

In March, the Crimean Peninsula and the city of Sevastopol within it having a special status refused to obey the coup-imposed Ukrainian leaders and seceded from Ukraine after a referendum to reunify with Russia following 60 years as part of Ukraine.

Massive protests against the coup-imposed Ukrainian authorities erupted in Ukraine’s southeastern territories, mainly the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, after Crimea’s accession to Russia. Demonstrators in the Southeast, who have been demanding Ukraine’s federalization, seized some government buildings.

A special operation by Kiev against federalization supporters has already claimed dozens of lives, including civilian. The Donetsk and Luhansk regions held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.

Billionaire businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko won the May 25 early presidential elections in Ukraine. He is to be sworn in on June 7. Poroshenko earlier told media he had funded anti-government protests that led to February's coup.

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