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Published on Apr 17, 2014
President Vladimir Putin denied the claims by Ukraine and the West that Russian special forces were fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine. "This is nonsense. There are no Russian armed forces anywhere in the east of Ukraine. There are neither special forces nor instructors. All these people are local citizens," Putin said. He accused the interim government in Kiev of escalating the situation. "People started to arm themselves [in eastern Ukraine]. And instead of realising that something wrong is going on in Ukraine and undertake efforts to conduct dialogue, it [the government] started to threaten by force even more and got into the situation when it moved tanks and aeroplanes toward the civilians. This is one more very serious crime by the current Ukrainian leaders," he said. The Russian leader said he hoped he won't have to send Russian troops into Ukraine. At the same time, he recognised for the first time that troops in unmarked uniforms who swept Ukraine's region of Crimea before its last month's annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers. Source: APTN
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