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Putin: Talk of Russian interference in Ukraine is nonsense



by Joseph Earnest  April 17, 2014


Newscast Media MOSCOWPresident Vladimir Putin has called claims Russia is behind eastern Ukraine's unrest "nonsense." He has accused the government in Kyiv of raising tensions in the region, while expressing hope for crisis talks.


During the beginning of a televised call with the nation on Thursday, Putin said Ukraine's decision to send armed forces to the country's restive east rather than establishing a dialogue was a "grave crime." He also dismissed Western accusations that Russian special forces were present in the region, saying the people there have risen up against a government that has ignored their rights and legitimate demands.

"It's all nonsense, there are no special units, special forces or instructors there," the Russian president said. He added the protests in eastern Ukraine, which have driven separatist sentiment in recent weeks and resulted in gunmen seizing government offices and police stations in at least 10 cities, involve only locals.

Ukraine's new government, which took over following the fall of former president Viktor Yanukovych earlier this year, is dragging the country towards an "abyss," Putin said, slamming the decision to launch a military operation against separatists who have seized buildings.

"This is one more serious crime by the current Kyiv authorities," Putin said.

Putin urged that diplomacy was the way to reach a solution to the crisis, saying he "very much hopes" Russia will not have to send its military to eastern Ukraine.

"Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes, can order be imposed in the country," he said. "It is very important today to think about how to get out of this situation and offer people a genuine dialogue and not just one for show."  Add Comments>>


 Source: Deutsche Welle









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