Ukraine: Yanukovych Vows to Return to Ukraine

Published: 23 February 2015

yanViktor Yanukovych


Viktor Yanukovych, the disgraced former president of Ukraine, says he will return to Ukraine if the opportunity arises.

 In an interview with state-owned Russian TV network Channel One on Saturday, Feb. 21, Yanukovych complained that he regretted fleeing the country and said he intends to return to “do everything in my power to ease people’s lives,” The Guardian reports.

Yanukovych fled Ukraine last year following the eruption of protests in the capital, Kiev. The demonstrations were violently suppressed by police, resulting in 100 civilian deaths. After he fled to Russia in February 2014, the extent of Yanukovych’s corruption and personal wealth were revealed.

He was placed on Interpol’s Most Wanted list on Jan. 12 for abuse of power, misappropriation and embezzlement. Yanukovych remains deeply unpopular in Ukraine, considered a Russian puppet by government supporters and a coward by pro-Russian separatists in the east, The Guardian reports.

The war in Ukraine between government forces and separatists that broke out after Yanukovych’s  ousting has killed more than 5,000 people, according to the United Nations. The most recent ceasefire, which came into force Feb. 15, has not held. Ukrainian forces were forced to retreat from Debaltseve, a town situated between Luhansk and Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine, due to continued fighting last week, according to the BBC.

Read about the extent of Yanukovych’s corruption, as reported by OCCRP, here