Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych insisted Saturday that he would neither resign nor sign any agreement with what he called "bandits terrorizing the country."
The remarks, apparently made from a location in Yanukovych's stronghold of eastern Ukraine, are a defiant rejection of calls by the opposition for the president to step aside and potentially set the stage for destabilizing political confrontation in the days ahead.
"I'm doing everything to prevent bloodshed in the country," Yanukovych said in a televised interview. "They are trying to intimidate me and induce me to resign voluntarily. But I do not intend to resign."
In the statement broadcast on Ukrainian television, Yanukovych said the ongoing turmoil in Ukraine had all the hallmarks of a coup attempt and likened opposition forces' activities to those of the Nazis in the 1930s.