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December 19, 2013 AT 9:18 AM
A $15 billion Russian aid package for Ukraine began to take shape on Thursday as Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich went public in defense of the deal, but offered no concessions to persuade thousands of protesters to leave the streets. In his first public appearance since agreeing the deal with Moscow, he argued that securing cheaper gas and credits from Russia had been the only way to avoid default. Soon after, his government issued a $3 billion two-year eurobond whose terms corresponded exactly to those of a bond that Russia had said it would buy as part of a $15 billion lifeline to help its former Soviet ally out of economic crisis.