Support The Moscow Times!

Now is the time to support independent reporting from Russia!

Contribute Today

Yanukovych Didn't Authorize Use of Force Against Protesters, Putin Says

President Vladimir Putin said during his annual call-in show that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych told him he did not authorize the use of force against anti-government protesters on Kiev's Independence Square during clashes in February.

Responding to a question from a former member of the Ukrainian Berkut police in the audience, who asked whether Yanukovych was "always such a weakling and a traitor," Putin said the ousted leader fulfilled his duties "as he considered necessary."

Speaking about the violence that broke out in central Kiev, for which the current Ukrainian government blames Yanukovych, Putin said Yanukovych told him that "his arm did not rise to sign an order to authorize the use of force" against protesters.

Read more

Russia media is under attack.

At least 10 independent media outlets have been blocked or closed down over their coverage of the war in Ukraine.

The Moscow Times needs your help more than ever as we cover this devastating invasion and its sweeping impacts on Russian society.