On a day that proved to be a turning point for Ukrainians, Viktor Yanukovych was removed as the country’s President in what he called as a “coup” and ex-Premier Yulia Tymoshenko announced her presidency bid after she was released from the jail.
Addressing a huge crowd from the wheelchair, an emotional Tymoshenko said, “You are Heroes”.
“Because nobody could do it – not other countries, nobody – could do what you have done. We’ve eliminated this cancer, this tumour,” she said.
She urged them to continue the protests, saying “Until you finish this job and until we travel all the way, nobody has the right to leave”.
Hailing the removal of Yanukovych, Yanukovych told tens of thousands of cheering supporters, “Today a dictatorship fell…A new epoch has started – an epoch of free people, of a free European Ukraine”.
Meanwhile reports said that Yanukovych was stopped by the custom agents from flying out of the country from the eastern city of Donetsk, even as his aides tried to bribe them.
In a televised interview after he left Kiev for the pro-Russian eastern bastion city of Kharkiv, Yanukovich called his removal as a coup and refused to leave the country.
He added that he would not resign, and called the parliament move as “illegal”.