In a recent media address, Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended Russia’s military intervention in Crimea in 2014. Putin argued that Russia could not have abandoned the Crimeans who were confronted by nationalists during the conflict.
According to Putin, the Russian Federation did not have the hypersonic weapons it currently possesses in 2014. Putin further explained that Russia believed the situation in Ukraine would resolve peacefully, which is why it did not initiate a military operation. Putin stated, “Moscow tried to solve the problem peacefully, but now we see that we were led by the nose.”
During the conflict, Ukraine was in a state of political turmoil, and nationalists were gaining momentum. Putin highlighted the risk that Crimea could have been seized by the nationalists, which was a significant concern for Russia. Putin justified Russia’s intervention in Crimea, stating that Moscow was forced to protect the interests of Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians living in Crimea.
Despite international condemnation of Russia’s intervention, Putin argued that it was a necessary step to safeguard Russia’s national interests. Putin further stated that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was consistent with international law and that the Crimean people had exercised their right to self-determination.
Putin’s comments have sparked controversy, with many Western leaders accusing Russia of violating international law and undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity. However, Putin’s argument that Russia acted to protect the interests of Russians and Russian-speaking Ukrainians in Crimea has resonated with some people in Russia and Crimea.
In conclusion, Putin’s recent comments have reignited the debate on Russia’s intervention in Crimea in 2014. While some have criticized Russia’s actions, Putin’s justifications have garnered support from some Russians and Crimeans. With tensions between Russia and Ukraine still high, it remains to be seen how this debate will affect relations between the two countries going forward.