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Putin calls Ukrainian army ‘NATO legion’ with geopolitical aim to contain Russia

January 26, 2015, 16:41 UTC+3

“It has quite different goals — geopolitical containing of Russia, which is absolutely inconsistent with the national interests of the Ukrainian people,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said

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Ukrainian army soldiers

Ukrainian army soldiers

© AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov

ST. PETERSBURG, January 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday called the Ukrainian army “a NATO legion” that has the geopolitical goal to contain Russia.

“In essence, this is already not an army, but a foreign legion, in this case NATO’s foreign legion that certainly does not pursue the goal of defending Ukraine’s national interests,” the president said.

“It has quite different goals — geopolitical containing of Russia, which is absolutely inconsistent with the national interests of the Ukrainian people,” Putin said at a meeting with students of the Gorny National Mineral Resources University.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said incumbent Kiev authorities gave up a path of peaceful settlement of the current conflict in war-torn Ukrainian industrial area Donbas.

“Unfortunately, official Kiev authorities abandoned a path of peaceful settlement, do not want to settle it (current Ukrainian crisis) in political ways. At first law, enforcement agencies were used, then the security service, then the army,” Putin said.

The head of state noted that when incumbent Kiev authorities faced armed resistance they stopped military actions. “Regretfully, they misused a breathing spell only for regrouping and resumed it (fighting) again. Thousands have already been killed. Certainly, this is a tragedy,” the president said.

“Tragic events, actually a civil war” are happening in Ukraine, he said. “In my mind, many people understand this perfectly in Ukraine,” Putin said.

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