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Ukrainians React to Yanukovych's Speech

Ukrainians have mixed reactions to the first public appearance of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych who fled Kyiv last week.

Mr. Yanukovych resurfaced in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don where he held a news conference Friday, calling on his opponents to stop what he called the "horrible lawlessness" in Ukraine.

While Kyiv and western Ukraine have risen up against Mr. Yanukovych, he remains popular in the Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions where economic and cultural ties with Russia remain strong.

His remarks were broadcast around the country on giant television screens.

Galina Shurko, resident of the western Ukraine city of Lviv, is not a supporter of the ousted leader.



"You know, we are really surprised that he's still saying something. We don't even like to listen to him because of all this pain in our hearts and everything that he has done to Ukraine."



Meanwhile, Karina, a resident of the northeastern city of Kharkiv said Mr. Yanukovych's re-surfacing in Russia was the logical thing to do.



"Sorry, but what is Viktor Yanukovych to do when some strange people came to power and simply act as some junkies? What should he do? Where should he go? He could have been killed, as simple as that, of course he went to Rostov-on-Don."



Lena Kleshevnykova, another resident of Kharkiv - Ukraine's second largest city - is a staunch supporter of the Mr. Yanukovych.



"I still consider him our president because the new government came to power in an unlawful way, with military aggression."





The Ukrainian parliament approved a new interim government Thursday led by new prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

Mr. Yatsenyuk has accused the government of ousted president Yanukovych of stealing $70 billion from the treasury and sending the money to offshore accounts. He also says $37 billion of credit it received has disappeared, leaving Ukraine with severe financial problems.

Judicial authorities in Geneva have opened an investigation into alleged money laundering by Mr. Yanukovych and his son. The Swiss government also announced it is freezing the assets of 20 Ukrainian officials.

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