LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Pledging to fight for his country, Ukraine's president has made his first public appearance since fleeing his country.

Speaking from Russia, where he was granted protection, Viktor Yanukovych blamed the West for the crisis that led to his departure and the deaths of dozens of people.

Meanwhile, the area of Crimea has become the latest battleground in the ongoing conflict -- and the tensions are raising concerns in neighboring Russia. President Vladimir Putin has vowed not to intervene, but he's also declared that Russia will defend the interests of its citizens in Ukraine.

"We will watch very carefully and very hopefully that Russia will join us in the effort to help shore up the economy, hold the country together and provide a road forward," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Washington is lending its support to Ukraine's new prime minister as the country tries to restore order.

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