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Vladimir Putin is worried about what happens in Ukraine because it “would be a dangerous example to Russia” if people had European standards of life, the senior Ukrainian politician and presidential candidate Vitaly Klitschko said Thursday.

“He is worried about what happens to the country,” the former heavyweight boxing champ with a Ph.D told business news channel CNBC. “The people don’t want to live with the corruption, without human rights and that’s why people want changes.”

“Everyone in Ukraine wants to live in a European country, with European standards of life,” he added. “It would be a very bad or dangerous example for Russia.”

Speaking after the bloodless takeover by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine's Crimea, Klitshcko disputed Putin’s claims that the government in Kiev was illegitimate and said that ousted President Victor Yanukovich’s decision to flee to Russia had forced people to act.

“The president of the Ukraine left the country and for almost one week we couldn’t find the president, no information,” said the 6-foot-7 father of three, known as Dr. Ironfist for his achievements in the ring and the academic arena.

With a constitutional majority of more than 300 voices in parliament he said they had built a new government and announced a presidential election.

“Everything was done in a constitutional way,” he said.

Frustrated at the corruption he encountered in his home country Klitschko added that he had entered politics to try and change things from the inside.

“I spent a lot of time in the U.S.,” he said. “I know modern standards of life.”