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BUDAPEST, February 2. /TASS/. One of the causes of the aggravating situation in Donbass is that the Kiev government, which needs money, is trying to show itself off as a victim in the eyes of the international community, Russian President Vladimir Putin said told a news conference on Thursday in the course of a visit to Hungary.
"Cause number one is that the Ukrainian leadership needs money today and the best way to get it is to squeeze it out of the EU, or from separate European countries or from the U.S. or from international financial institutions by showing itself off as a victim of aggression," Putin said.
He also cited some other causes, for instance, Kiev's attempts to struggle with the opposition at home and to deflect attention through aggravating the tensions in Donbass.
Putin said it was the Ukrainian side that triggered the current surge of tensions in Donbass.
"Last Friday, de facto combat actions began and on Sunday the so-called Ukrainian volunteer battalions seized a stronghold of the opposing side and moved some 200 meters deep into the territory controlled by the (Donbass) self-defense forces," he said. "Also on Sunday, they were knocked out of there."
Putin has expressed hope that sober-minded forces in Ukraine will prevent the situation in Donbass from developing along the worst possible scenario.
The Russian leader said the incumbent Ukrainian authorities were totally unprepared for the implementation of the Minsk accords and were seeking to sake them off.
"I hope very much the sober-minded forces in Ukraine and the people interested in the solution of such issues by political means will not let the situation in southeastern Ukraine develop along the worst possible scenario and, on the contrary, will focus attention and efforts on fulfilling the Minsk accords," Putin said.
Putin also said that the Ukrainian leadership supported a specific candidate in the US presidential election last year and now it is trying to use an aggravation in Donbass for establishing ties with the new administration in the White House.
"As we know, while the presidential election campaign in the United States was still in progress, the current Ukrainian authorities took a biased stance in favor of one of the candidates. Moreover, some oligarchs, surely with approval from the political leadership, financed that candidate - woman candidate, to be more precise," Putin said. "Now they (the authorities in Kiev) have to establish relations with the current administration and through a conflict again. It is far easier to get the current administration (in the White House) involved into Ukrainian problems and to establish some kind of contact," Putin said.
In the 2016 US presidential election Republican candidate Donald Trump outperformed his Democratic Party rival Hillary Clinton.