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War in Ukraine started with coup in Kiev – Putin

The West and particularly the US are to blame for the crisis, the Russian president insists

The tragic events currently unfolding in Ukraine started with the US-backed 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, stressing that the West is to blame for the conflict.

Putin was speaking with heads of international news agencies on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

“Everyone [in the West] believes that Russia started the war in Ukraine. But no one – I want to emphasize this – no one in the West, in Europe, wants to remember how this tragedy began,” the president said, responding to a question by German journalist.

“It began with a coup in Ukraine – an unconstitutional coup d’etat. This is the beginning of the war. Well, is Russia to blame for this coup? No.”

The Russian leader pointed out that everyone seems to have forgotten how the foreign ministers of Poland, Germany and France arrived in Kiev and signed the Minsk agreements as guarantors on peacefully resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

These countries now prefer not to remember this, instead they decided to resolve the conflict by use of arms against civilians in Eastern Ukraine, Putin said.

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“No one planned to execute the Minsk agreements, they publicly state they are not going to implement it,” the Russian president stressed, adding: “We were deceived.”

According to Putin, following the coup, Moscow made every attempt to settle the bloodshed in Donbass “by peaceful means.”

Following the US-backed coup, the then-Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, known as Donbass, with predominantly Russian-speaking populations refused to accept the new government, which increasingly embraced nationalist ideology. The regions proclaimed their independence and Kiev responded with a military campaign that led to a years-long conflict.

“We recognized people who voted to be independent,” Putin stressed.

Asked about Western arms supply to Ukraine, the Russian leader called it a direct participation in the conflict which will ultimately completely destroy global relations and undermine international security. Russia reserves the right to respond in a similar way, according to the president.


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