Ukraine's Yanukovich says did not give order to shoot protesters

File photo of Ukraine's then PM Viktor Yanukovich listening to Ukraine's then Deputy PM for the energy sector Andriy Klyuev.

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said on Friday he had not ordered police to shoot at protesters before he was forced out of power and the responsibility for bloodshed in Kiev lay with the demonstrators.

At a news conference in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, Yanukovich also said he was surprised that Russian president Vladimir Putin had said nothing in public about the past week's events in Ukraine. He said he had not seen Putin but had spoken to him by telephone during that time.

Asked about his arch-rival, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was released from jail last Saturday, Yanukovich said he had never meant her any harm.