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Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych denied Friday that he ordered police to shoot at protesters during last week’s deadly clashes in Kiev.
Responsibility for the bloodshed lies with the pro-West "Euromaidan" protesters occupying the city’s main square, he told reporters at a news conference in neighboring Russia.
Yanukovych also said he was surprised that Russian President Vladimir Putin had said nothing in public about the past week's events in Ukraine, according to a Reuters translation of his remarks made in Russian.
“I spoke to him over the phone after I had arrived in the Russian territory,” Yanukovych said. “We agreed that whenever the president of Russia has time to meet up with me, that meeting with happen. I don’t know when we’ll have this opportunity.”
The news conference was his first public appearance since fleeing Kiev a week ago in the wake of the bloodshed, and came despite Ukraine's General Prosecutor Office calling on Russia to extradite him to face charges of corruption and for his role in the death of protesters.
Reuters contributed to his report.