Ukraine's Ousted Leader: I Was 'Wrong' on Crimea

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In his first interview since fleeing to Russia, Ukraine's ousted president said Wednesday that he was "wrong" to have invited Russian troops into Crimea and vowed to try to persuade Russia to return the coveted Black Sea peninsula. (April 2)

SHOTLIST:

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Rostov-on-Don - 2 April 2014

1. Ukraine's ousted president Viktor Yanukovych shaking hands with reporters

2. Dictaphones on desk

3. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's ousted president (Transcript Below)

4. Close of Yanukovych's hands on the table

5. Mid of Yanukovych speaking

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FILE - Kiev, Ukraine - 18 February 2014

6. Various file of protests in Kiev

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Rostov-on-Don - 2 April 2014

7. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's ousted president (Transcript Below)

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FILE - Crimea - 18 February 2014

8. Wide of ballot boxes

9. Mid of referendum sign

10. Mid of soldiers marching

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Rostov-on-Don - 2 April 2014

11. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's ousted president (Transcript Below)

12. Mid of table

13. Wide of Yanukovych walking away

VOICE-OVER SCRIPT:

UKRAINE'S OUTSED PRESIDENT VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH IS FINALLY SPEAKING OUT...SAYING HE WAS WRONG TO EVER INVITE RUSSIAN TROOPS INTO CRIMEA.

SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's ousted president:

"I wasn't right. I was acting under the influence of emotions. But that didn't play any role. People, residents of Crimea, decided their own fate."

IT WAS YANUKOVYCH'S DECISION TO ALIGN UKRAINE WITH RUSSIA INSTEAD OF EUROPE THAT EVENTUALLY LED TO HIS DOWNFALL.

DEFENSIVE AND SOMETIMES EMOTIONAL, HE DENIED ANY ROLE IN THE VIOLENCE AGAINST ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTERS.

SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine's ousted president:

"I personally never gave any orders to shoot. And as far as I know the weapons were never given to those special troops, who took part in defending the state buildings and the state bodies - they just complied with their orders. My principles which I always follow are that no authority, no power is worth a drop of blood."

HE SAYS HE WOULD'VE FOUGHT THE ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA HAD HE STILL HELD POWER, BUT HOLDS OUT HOPE THE REGION CAN BE RETURNED TO UKRAINE.

SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Ukrainian President:

"Crimea is a tragedy. It is a great tragedy. My viewpoint is that the objective should be as follows: seek ways to return Crimea under any conditions. Let Crimea have the maximum level of independence, whatever possible. There are similar cases in the world."

YANUKOVYCH SPOKE FROM RUSSIA WHERE HE'S BEEN LIVING SINCE FLEEING UKRAINE IN FEBRUARY.

MAGGIE MAZZETTI, ASSOCIATED PRESS.

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