Russia's Putin slams West over backing 'coup d'etat' in Ukraine
Iran Press TV
Fri Jun 17, 2016 4:3PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly criticized the West's support for 'a coup d'etat' in Ukraine in 2014, blaming it for the bloodshed that plagued the country.
"Why support a coup d'etat in Ukraine? ... It is likely that the opposition, which is currently in power, would have come to power by democratic means," Putin said at a question and answer session during the the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2016 (SPIEF 2016) on Friday.
The Russian president blamed the way Ukraine's pro-Russian president was toppled for the bloodshed and ensuing violence.
Putin further said the 'coup' had scared the Russian-speaking people in the Crimean Peninsula and southeastern Ukraine.
Russia-West ties have been strained since Crimea joined Russia in a referendum in March 2014.
Crimean people voted to join Russia after rejecting the Western-backed government that took over power in Kiev in February 2014.
The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the crisis gripping the Eastern European state.
Ukraine's eastern provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Moscow forces and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations in April 2014 to crush pro-Moscow protests there.
The crisis has left more than 9,000 people dead and over 20,000 others injured, according to the United Nations.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|