UK
23/06/2015 04:09 BST | Updated 23/06/2015 04:59 BST

BBC 'Newsnight' Asks Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich About His Ostriches

In an interview with BBC "Newsnight" on Monday, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich defended himself against claims that he used his position as leader to embezzle state funds in the years preceding the Maidan protests that ended his rule in early 2014.

Speaking in Moscow where he fled after demonstrators overran his residence on the outskirts of Kiev, Yanukovich denied the allegations of corruption, claiming he bought his opulent estate with his own money.

Protesters who raided the property found finery, trappings of wealth and even a private zoo replete with a collection of live ostriches, animals Yanukovich said he was “supporting” despite them living on a “separate territory” near to his house.

When cornered on the issue by the BBC journalist, the former president said he “didn’t have time to be” at his property, even though he does “love animals.”

Watch the unusual exchange above.