MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. Ukraine has been using barbaric acts of violence against residents of Donbass, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised address on Wednesday.
"[Ukraine’s] policy of intimidation, terror and violence [in Donbass] is becoming increasingly hideous and barbaric," the Russian leader said.
According to Putin, nationwide repressions against Ukrainian citizens have been ratcheting up ever since the Western-backed armed coup d’etat in 2014.
The Russian president said he was aware that "most people in areas that have been liberated from neo-Nazi fighters, primarily the historical lands of Novorossiya, would hate to find themselves under neo-Nazi rule." People "in the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions as well as in Lugansk and Donetsk have been witnessing the atrocities committed by neo-Nazi fighters in the occupied areas of the Kharkov Region," Putin said, referring to torture, jailings and harassment.
He said there had been up to 7.5 million people in the Donetsk and the Lugansk People’s Republics before the military operation. "Most of them were forced to flee their homes, while those who stayed - some 5 million people - have been the target of relentless artillery and missile attacks by neo-Nazi militants. They have been shelling hospitals and schools, and committing terror attacks against civilians," the head of state said.
"We cannot and we have no moral right to leave our own people at the mercy of butchers, we cannot fail to respond to their heartfelt desire to decide their own future," he pointed out.