Former President Viktor Yanukovych said he did not give orders to crack down on Maidan in winter of 2013 and accused his entourage at the time of the intrigues against him. He had more to say during his interview with German weekly Der Spiegel, Deutsche Welle reports.
At first, when answering the question about the events on the eve of November 30, when security forces beat students, Yanukovych answered with accusations against "radicals" who "provoked the police." However, he then said that the protests were masterminded by the head of his administration at the time, Serhiy Lyovochkin, together with businessman Dmytro Firtash, who went behind his back and "became directors of the Maidan."
Yanukovych also said that he learned of the clashes only the next morning during a game of tennis because Lyovochkin was not answering calls.
Once again, the former President said he did not renounce his post.
"I was in the Ukraine, I was just cut off from the media, blocked and they hunted for me all over the country," he said. Yanukovych also claims that during his flight to Crimea from Donetsk, near Melitopol "a heavily armed group of mercenaries had been waiting for our convoy with orders to shoot everyone in it, including me." However, he was allegedly warned in advance and the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine were not able to establish the location of the fugitive president.
Der Spiegel’s reporter notes that during the conversation Yanukovych "was confused and tried to avoid difficult questions."