Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych still views himself as the country's official head of state, according to a statement published by Russian news agencies on Thursday. "I still consider myself to be the legitimate leader of the Ukrainian state, elected on the basis of Ukrainian citizen’s free will," Yanukovych's statement said, which was published by Interfax and Itar Tass. The ousted leader fled his residence near the Kiev on Saturday after months of deadly protests and a deal with his opposition giving many of his powers over to parliament. Russian news organization RBK reported that Yanukovych had been spotted in Moscow, however NBC News could not confirm this. In his statement, the former leader also said he has asked for protection from Russia "to ensure my personal security from extremists' actions."