Moscow - The ousted president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich, is to speak in southern Russia on Tuesday in his first public statement in over a week, Russian news agencies reported.

“The statement will be made in Rostov-on-Don. The exact time and place will be announced later,” the agencies cited an unnamed source in his entourage as saying on Monday.

There were no further details.

The Russian media had printed rumours that Yanukovich, who fled Ukraine after three months of street protests in Kiev turned deadly, was seriously ill in a Moscow hospital after a heart attack.

During his last public appearance, at a press conference on February 28 in the same Russian city, a feisty Yanukovich insisted that he was still the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

“I have not been overthrown by anyone, I was compelled to leave Ukraine due to an immediate threat to my life and the lives of those close to me,” he said at the time. - AFP