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Putin, in a televised interview, noted that the Russian Parliament had unanimously approved using force in eastern Ukraine last month to protect ethnic Russians. He also ominously referred to the region as “new Russia,” clearly implying that Moscow had an absolute legitimate claim to the land and saying only “God knows” why it ever became part of Ukraine in the first place.
“I really hope that I do not have to exercise this right and that by political and diplomatic means we will be able to solve all of the sharp problems,” he said.
“The question is to ensure the rights and interests of the Russian southeast. It’s new Russia,” he added.
Putin’s rather foreboding remarks came shortly after Ukrainian troops killed three pro-Russian separatists, wounding a dozen more, and capturing roughly 63, if not more, in an overnight raid in eastern Ukraine.
The United States and Ukraine have challenged the Big Bear, accusing them of instigating the unrest, a charge Moscow denies, of course. After all Uncle Vlad is a former spy and he doesn’t always tell the truth.