ROSTOV-ON-DON (QHA) -

Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych has made a brief appearance in southern Russia, dismissing the government that formed after he fled and reiterating that he is still Ukraine's leader and remains commander of the country's armed forces, RFE/RL reports.

 Yanukovych also said a presidential election set for May is illegal and called the current government in Kyiv an "unconstitutional junta."

Speaking for about 10 minutes and ended the appearance in Rostov-on-Don without taking questions, he added that Crimea is going to secede from Ukraine due to erroneous actions by the illegitimate government of "extremists."

Yanukovych said he intends to return to the Ukrainian capital as "circumstances permit."

Photo: EPA

QHA