Russian President Vladimir Putin says a coup in Kiev forced Moscow to act in Crimea.
Before the Maidan in 2014, Moscow was happy to work closely with all Ukrainian governments and had no plan to take any action in Crimea. However, this changed when a democratically elected leader was overthrown, the Russian president said on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists at his annual end-of-year press conference at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow, Putin said he would have continued working closely with Ukrainian partners if there hadn’t been a “bloody coup d’etat,” in which people were “killed and burned.”
The current tension between Russia and Ukraine began following the events of the 2014 Maidan, when violent street protests toppled a democratically elected government. Shortly after…