Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, October 10, 2016. Sputnik/Kremlin/Alexei Druzhinin via REUTERS
Newsweek: Putin Claims Russia ‘Forced To Defend' Ukraine Separatists
The Russian leader appeared to make a rare admission on Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that his government was “forced to defend the Russian speakers” of eastern Ukraine, despite previously denying that Moscow plays any formal role in the conflict in the Donbas regions.
Putin spoke at a business forum in Moscow, answering questions about the economic situation in Russia, when the issue of the Ukraine conflict was raised. Separatists in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas regions have been fighting the government in Kiev for over two years, since a wave of pro-EU protests in the capital toppled the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
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WNU Editor: This is why his public approval numbers in Russia are in the 80%. But there are many Russians who believe that he has not done enough .... including many Russian-Ukrainians who want nothing more but a hundred thousand Russian troops pouring across the border. As to what is my take .... this conflict is going to go on for a very long time, and even though Ukrainian President Poroshenko's approval numbers are in the low teens, he is going to be President for the next few years until the next election. A deal needs to be done, but as long as the U.S. continues to financially support his government I do not see any motivation for him to change his policies. I am also concerned on what a Hillary Clinton Presidency may do .... many in Moscow see her as someone who will double down U.S. commitment to support Ukraine President Poroshenko .... and will in fact push for a military solution to the conflict. If that becomes the case .... we will then be entering a very dangerous situation. and this new Cold War may become very hot and very quickly.