Ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister and leader of the People's Front part Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said disgraced ex-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was working with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian officials in early February 2014 when Crimea was annexed.
"Russia's president himself confirmed this in an interview in which he said that on February 20, 2014 he gave the order to the Russian military to illegal seize and annex Ukrainian territory. This plan was executed with the participation of then President Viktor Yanukovych," Yatsenyuk said. Yatsenyuk was appearing in Kyiv's Solomiansky District Court on Monday at a hearing against Yanukovych for state treason.
Yatsenyuk said a letter addressed from Yanukovych to Putin dated March 1, 2014 was the result of the agreement between Yanukovych and Putin. The letter was meant to legitimize events transpiring in Crimea.
Yatsenyuk said he believes Yanukovych was fully dependent on Russia and personally on Putin based on his behavior as Ukrainian president, including Yanukovych's decision to sign the Kharkiv accords, and later by his refusal to sign the Ukraine-European Union Association agreement, which led to protests in Kyiv.