Russian President Vladimir Putin has assured that he had no particular desire to start a confrontation with Ukraine and that he anticipated a “peaceful” resolution to tensions with kyiv before the beginning of years of armed conflict that led to the Russian invasion of the country in February of last year.
Putin went back to the annexation of Crimea in 2014, one of the direct precedents of the current armed conflict, arguing that his country “simply he could not turn his back on the people of Crimea when it was already confronting the nationalists”. Russia ended up incorporating the peninsula into its territory through a plebiscite declared illegal by kyiv and its international allies.
“We had assumed that we would be able to resolve the situation in an absolutely peaceful way. I have never been eager to trigger any confrontation“, the Russian president declared in an interview with the Rossiya 1 channel collected by the TASS news agency.
“We simply could not deny our support and protection to the people of Crimea. The Nazis were already attacking them.as the Ukrainians say, and it was our sacred duty to protect them,” he explained.