ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. It was Kiev that unleashed the war in Ukraine in 2014, and therefore Russia had every right to help Donbass in accordance with the United Nations Charter, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with the African delegation on Saturday.
"The Kiev regime has undertaken multiple attempts to resolve this problem [in Donbass] with arms, and in fact launched combat operations in 2014, using aircraft, tanks and artillery against those civilians. It was the Kiev regime that unleashed this war in 2014, whereas we, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, had every right to offer them help, invoking the self-defense clause," Putin said.
Putin pointed out that "all problems of Ukraine emerged after the state, unconstitutional, armed and bloody coup in 2014."
"That coup was supported by Western sponsors. They did not hesitate to talk about it and they spoke about it, even revealing how much money they had spent on preparation and implementation of that coup. Therefore, the source of power of the current rulers in Kiev is a coup d’·tat," Putin said.
The Russian president recalled that back in 2014, some Ukrainians did not support the coup in the country and announced that the people living these areas would not obey the new rulers.
"Russia was forced to stand up for those people, bearing in mind our historical bonds both with the territories as well as cultural and linguistic ties with the people who live in those territories. For a long time we sought to resolve the situation in Ukraine through peaceful means," Putin said.