Russian President Vladimir Putin is still blaming the United States and the European Union for the “unconstitutional” removal of Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich.
By Alexei Anishchuk
LAKE SELIGER, Russia Aug 29 (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin said on Friday Russia’s armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression, declaring at a pro-Kremlin youth camp that foreign states should understand: “It’s best not to mess with us.”
Putin told the assembly, on the banks of a lake near Moscow, the Russian takeover of Crimea in March was essential to save a largely Russian-speaking population from Ukrainian government violence. He said continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists launched an uprising in April, was the result of a refusal by Kiev to negotiate.
Ukraine, and Western governments, accuse Russia of sending troops and armour to back the separatists in a conflict that has already killed…
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