TIME Ukraine

Russia Says Ousted Ukrainian Leader Asked for Military Intervention

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich takes part in a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich takes part in a news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Feb. 28, 2014. Maxim Shemetov—Reuters

Yanukovich asked Russia to deploy its military in Ukraine, according to the Kremlin’s Ambassador to the United Nations

Viktor Yanukovich, the ousted former president of Ukraine, wrote a letter asking Russia to use military force in his country, the Kremlin’s envoy at the United Nations said in an emergency Security Council meeting Monday.

“People are being persecuted for language and political reasons,” said Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, holding and quoting from what he claimed was Yanukovich’s letter (shown in the tweet below), Reuters reports. “So in this regard I would call on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.”

The international community has made a frenzied effort to avoid violent conflict since Russian troops began seizing key positions throughout Ukraine’s eastern Crimea region over the weekend. Western powers, including the United States, have spoken of sanctions to push back against what President Barack Obama dubbed an illegal action Monday.

Russia Today, a state-funded media outlet in Russia, posted the following photo of the envoy holding the letter late Monday:

[Reuters]

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