He said that he found out about the start of military actions in Ukraine’s Donetsk region from media reports.
“If the current Kiev authorities really started to use army against people inside the country, this is a very serious crime against their own people,” the president stressed, recalling that even legitimate Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych did not go as far as involving the army for dispersing rallies in Kiev, although he had the corresponding credentials.
Putin is convinced that current Kiev authorities do not have such a mandate, and the legitimacy of their actions on the whole is only partial. “This is a junta, some kind of clique,” the Russian leader exclaims.
A military operation against Ukrainian civilians will entail consequences for Kiev authorities, who make these decisions, including consequences for mutual relations between Russia and Ukraine, Russian president said.
Putin believes that if Crimea did not join Russia, the situation there could be even worse than in Ukraine’s south-east.
“If Russia did not provide real support to people living in Crimea, it would be impossible to fulfill there the civilized expression of the citizens’ will. It would be all the same, what is happening now in Ukraine’s south-east. It would be the same and even worse,” Vladimir Putin stated.
In Putin’s view, “this once again confirms that we have done everything right and timely”.
The president recalled that Russia took part in meetings in Geneva, and people have signed agreements about disarmament from both sides. “What happens is that neither the Right Sector, nor any other radical organizations are not laying down arms, and nobody liberates anything in Kiev. On the contrary, they started to legalize these groups,” Putin cited an example. “There is no need to follow this path, it is necessary to take the path of dialogue between all the country’s citizens, wherever they may live.”