MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The Kiev regime’s charges against the ex-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, of illegal border crossing and incitement to desertion are tantamount to a confession a coup d'·tat was staged in Ukraine in 2014, Ukraine’s former prime minister Nikolay Azarov (2010-2014) said on Monday.
"In any unclear situation in Ukraine the Kiev regime blames Yanukovich. It is alleged that on February 23, Yanukovich fled Ukraine and encouraged about 20 of his guards, who were members of the state bodyguard service, to emigrate. What idiot has concocted this case?! First, they themselves were yelling at the top of their lungs that Yanukovich had quit on his own and left the territory of Ukraine on February 21. Now they themselves have admitted that Yanukovich was on the territory of Ukraine on February 21, which means that there was no quitting on his part," Azarov he wrote on his page on a social network.
The former prime minister urged Ukrainians to independently assess the inconsistency of the Kiev regime’s actions.
On March 10, the Office of Ukraine’s Prosecutor-General announced that a district court in Kiev would hold hearings in absentia on the case of illegal border crossing and incitement to desertion against Yanukovich. The other defendant in this case is Konstantin Kobzar, the former chief of the head of state's bodyguards. According to investigators, on February 23, 2014, Yanukovich and Kobzar illegally crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border twice and smuggled at least 20 people across it. On the same day, if the Prosecutor General's Office is to be believed, Yanukovich, while staying on the territory of a military unit of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, was "instigating" his bodyguards commit desertion.
Yanukovich served as Ukraine’s president from 2010 to 2014. During the coup d'·tat in February 2014, he was essentially ousted from office by force and, faced with a threat to his personal safety, had to flee the country. In October 2016, Ukraine’s new authorities stripped Yanukovich of the title of president, and a month later launched criminal proceedings against him in absentia on charges of treason. In 2019, a court in Kiev sentenced Yanukovich in absentia to 13 years in prison.