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Ukraine president ‘will not resign’

Kiev - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych denied on Saturday that he planned to resign in response to violence that left nearly 100 people dead in anti-government unrest.

“I am not leaving the country for anywhere. I do not intend to resign. I am the legitimately elected president,” Yanukovych told a local television station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

Ukraine's ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. Credit: AP

Yanukovych denounced what he described as a "coup d'etat" by gangsters who were terrorising Ukraine and said he would not flee the country or let it be torn apart.

In an interview with UBR, the president looked exhausted but appeared to have suffered no injuries after an incident in which he said his car had come under fire.

"The events witnessed by our country and the whole world are an example of a coup d'etat," said Yanukovych, who stood in a dark suit and blue tie.

"We are witnessing the return of the Nazis, the time when in 19030s the Nazis came to power in Germany and Austria. It is the same now ... I will do all I can to protect the country from splitting and to prevent bloodshed."

A day after signing an agreement with the opposition on resolving weeks of crisis, he has lost control of his presidential headquarters and the Interior Ministry which controls the police has turned against him.

"I will now travel in the southeast of the country. I will continue to meet people," he said. "I will stay on the territory of Ukraine. I will call on all international observers and mediators to stop the gangsters."

Refusing to recognise the legitimacy of laws and resolutions approved by parliament on Saturday, after the speaker loyal to him quit citing ill health, Yanukovych said: "I will sign nothing with gangsters who are terrorising the whole country."

He said his car had been shot at but did now say where or when.

“I am not afraid. I feel sorrow for my country," he told UBR. - Reuters

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