Topic: Turbulence in Ukraine
Originally Published at 15:02
MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called the acting authorities in Ukraine illegitimate, but said a military intervention in Russia’s western neighbor would be a last resort.
The remarks were the first public comments from Putin on the crisis in Ukraine since protesters in the capital, Kiev, swept to power last month.
Putin said Ukraine’s new government had no legal authority, and he urged new elections as soon as possible.
“The parliament is partially legitimate, but all the rest is not. The acting president does not have any legitimacy,” Putin told reporters.
While he denounced the Kiev authorities, Putin said Russia was not planning any imminent military action. “The use of troops is a last resort,” he said. “There is no necessity to do it at the moment, though that option is on the table.”
Any intervention would be purely humanitarian in nature, Putin said.
“If we take a decision to deploy troops then it will only be for the people’s protection,” he said. “Our militaries are brothers in arms, friends. I am sure that Ukrainian and Russian soldiers will be on the same side of the barricade.”
Troops under apparent Russian command, many of them traveling in military trucks and armored personnel carriers, have deployed widely around Crimea, as attested by numerous eyewitness accounts from reporters on the ground.
The troops have seized key strategic points across the peninsula, provoking a tense standoff with the Ukrainian military. Officials in Kiev and other capitals across the world have described the actions as an invasion.
Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, approved on Saturday a request by Putin for the deployment of troops inside Ukraine.
While Putin said he did not agree with the methods of the protesters who overthrew Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, he sympathized with some of their aspirations.
“Corruption had reached levels that we couldn't even imagine here, in Russia,” Putin said.
But he said that “an anti-constitutional coup and a military seizure of power” in Kiev had led to a situation inside Ukraine that was chaotic and out of control.
“We see the revelry of neo-Nazis, nationalists and anti-Semites that is currently going on in different parts of Ukraine,” Putin said.
Yanukovych suddenly left Kiev after deadly clashes between riot police and protesters resulted in over 80 deaths last month.
He arrived in Russia shortly afterward and said Friday that he was still the legitimate president and will continue to fight to reassert his authority.
“While it is clear that he does not have any power, from a legal point of view the president of Ukraine is Yanukovych,” Putin said, who added that he did not feel any sympathy for the fallen leader whose private out-of-town mansions have been thrown open to curious Ukrainians in recent days.
The Ukrainian parliament, or Rada, last week approved a new interim president, Oleksandr Turchyunov, and appointed a new government led by an erstwhile opposition leader, Arseny Yatsenyuk.
Putin said he does not recognize his interim counterpart and would not work with Turchynov, though he had instructed the Russian government to establish contact with the new Ukrainian administration.
Russia committed last year to providing Ukraine with up to $15 billion of financial aid in the form of bond purchases, but Putin said this was unlikely to go ahead.
Instead, Putin said he was inclined to acquiesce to requests from officials in Europe and the United States who have asked Russia to work on a joint financial rescue package for Ukraine mediated through the International Monetary Fund.
But Putin warned that presidential elections in Ukraine – currently planned for May 25 – could not take place if the situation in the country does not improve.
“If they take place in conditions of such terror then, of course, we will not accept them,” Putin said.
Recast throughout and updated with more details, new headline, quotes and background
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- ruypenalvaGet tough Putin, don't give up19:25, 04/03/2014Get tough Putin. USA want do divide Russia (Brzezinski chess) and its old allies to left Russia weak and without power of reaction vis a vis OTAN much like USA today allies abroad. USA occupy German and Japan with military bases in which those countries has no jurisdiction. Neither German nor Japan can say they are free with american military boots within the motherland. They are commercial slaves of USA.
- R.Deus-von HomeyerIF YOU MISS THE TRAIN I AM ON,YOU CAN SEE THAT I AM GONE...20:56, 04/03/2014...HaHaHaaaaaaaaaaaa...
My dearest Mr.PUTIN,sorry to tell you,but you are missing the train...the train from Moskow to Kiev!
I agree with you and I wrote already my opinion to Mr.MEDVEDEV,that JANUKOVYCH was overtrown by a coup and by ILLEGITIMATE "impeachment".
But PANDA REI,PANDA KINEITAI,KAI ODEN MENEI...said the ancient Greeks. Everything flows;everything moves and NOTHING stays the same!
You,me and millions other people may symparize with Yanukovich,but it was also his fault.He should not have runned out of Ukraina...sorry he is a weak,undesive(NERESHITELNUI) leader.
- Wolfgang9Dear Mr Putin,23:19, 04/03/2014please, please do not let this opportunity go by without showing your enemies that you are in charge and smarter than they are. History is full of unused opportunities which went wrong! If you are not acting, aggression in just smaller steps will continue. Call for an plebiscite, let people vote in Eastern and Southern Ukraine, if they want to be part of the Kiev Ukraine, if they want to be part of Russia or if they want to be separate of both.
You may not get a better chance ever to do so. My thoughts are with you,
- ruypenalvaЕxpert: West’s policies towards Ukraine have nothing to do with care for Ukrainian people04:55, 05/03/2014Еxpert: West’s policies towards Ukraine have nothing to do with care for Ukrainian people
March 05, 2:00 UTC+4
LONDON, March 05, /ITAR-TASS/. West’s policies towards Ukraine have nothing to do with an alleged care for the Ukrainian people and are dictated exclusively by the striving to encircle Russia, writes British political analyst Dr. Marcus Papandopoulos, the editor of Politics First Internet portal.
“In his statement on the crisis in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin presented Russia’s case, and it was a version of events that objective commentators and people who know the history of Russia and Ukraine intimately would find difficult not to agree with,” Dr. Papandopoulos writes.
“Firstly, President Putin stated unequivocally that what is happening in Ukraine is a result of a democratically elected President and Government having been overthrown which, of course, is contrary not just to democracy but to international law,” the article says. “Hence, President Viktor Yanukovych is the legitimate President of Ukraine.”
Secondly, President Putin drew attention to the nature of the politicians now taking up positions within the so-called Ukrainian government and the militants on the ground in Kiev.
“Many of the politicians in Kiev and many of the militants roaming around in central Kiev hold disturbing and vile views: they are anti-Semitic, anti-Russian and they praise those Ukrainians from the western-most regions of the country who collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation of the Soviet Union during the Second World War, such as Stepan Bandera and members of the Waffen-SS Galicia Division,” Dr. Papandopoulos says.
“Politicians of that nature can be found, for example, in the Svoboda Party. Indeed, the leader of that party, Oleg Tyahnybok, once said that Ukrainians should rally to fight against a “Muscovite-Jewish mafia” - a statement that has all the hallmarks, and is reminiscent, of Nazi-era propaganda,” the author says.
“Given that at least half of the population of Ukraine is ethnic Russian or Russian-speaking, it is not difficult to understand why millions of people in the country are now living in fear of the extremist and illegitimate authorities in Kiev,” he indicates.
Dr. Papandopoulos recalls that Putin highlighted the nature of the coup in Kiev it was a Western-backed one, aimed at bringing Ukraine into the West’s sphere of influence, “with the eventual and desired result being that the country joins the European Union and NATO.”
“The fact that Western governments and journalists do not recognise Mr Yanukovcyh as the legitimate President of Ukraine is because he chose to pursue closer economic relations with Russia, and this demonstrates that the United States government does not genuinely support democracy - it is selective in its support of the concept,” the author goes on.
“Furthermore, the fact that the West does not recognize the fear of millions of people in Ukraine concerning the ultra-nationalists who are now in power in Kiev is a reflection of the ignorance of Western politicians and journalists of what the Soviet Union endured during the Second World War, with nearly thirty million Soviet people, most of whom were civilians, having perished in the fight against Nazi Germany,” he writes.
“To American and British politicians, for instance, the war against Nazi Germany was won on the beaches of Normandy - Stalingrad, Kursk and Operation Bagration do not feature in their views on how Hitler was defeated,” Dr Papandopoulos says.
“And finally, the fact that the West wants Ukraine to join the EU and NATO is not out of care for ordinary Ukrainian people; the West wants Ukraine in its orbit so that it can complete the encirclement of the Russian Federation on its western borders - one only has to take a look at a map of modern-day Europe to see that along Russia’s western borders are EU/NATO states; and do not forget that the US is building a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe which is aimed at neutralizing the Russian nuclear strategic deterrent,” he writes.
“The ball, so to speak, is firmly in the court of the illegitimate authorities in Kiev and their Western backers in regard to resolving the crisis in Ukraine,” the article goes on.
“Kiev and the West must agree to an inclusive government that would include representatives from the Party of Regions and the Communist Party of Ukraine; ensure that no politician who holds ultra-nationalist views has a government position; and take steps to ensure that the Russian language and culture is protected which would include prosecuting anyone who desecrates Russian monuments and allowing Russian to be an official language in Ukraine,” Dr. Papandopoulos says.
“Russia has acted in its accordance with international law and its own constitution in protecting ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Ukraine,” he says. “Those two groups will not be protected by the West - only Russia will protect them and ensure that they are free to speak their Mother tongue language and be proud of their Russian/Soviet heritage.
The article urges the readers to remember that what frustrates Washington is that the Russia of today is not the Russia of the 1990s, when the country was in chaos. “Washington realizes that Russia has today re-claimed much of its lost superpower status and is, thereby, frustrating US objectives to keep Russia down,” Dr. Papandopoulos writes in conclusion.
- Mikhail1228Anti-Russian Coup23:53, 05/03/2014In a couple of weeks they have gone about banning the Russian language, joining NATO, banning the Kyrillic alphabet, banning the Party of Regions, allowing Neo-Nazis in Parliament, wearing wolfangel armbands, joining the EU, talking about taking the Black Sea Fleet off Russia, installing NATO'S missile defense shield in return for money. Of course this coup isn’t rabidly Anti-Russian what would ever make people think that?