The ongoing conflict in Ukraine could have been avoided had there not been a coup in Kiev in 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday. Speaking to mothers of Russian soldiers, Putin stressed the Maidan turmoil resulted in direct Western control over Ukrainian institutions, via overt neo-Nazis, which Russia has no choice but to oppose.
At the turn of the century, Russians were told everything would be great if they accepted outside control, and started “playing on someone else’s field,” Putin said. It was those outsiders seeking to control Russia that have created the current situation, “including in the zone of the special military operation,” he added.
Without naming the West specifically, Putin said the outsiders had significant influence in Ukraine as well, but after 2014 they gained total control over that country.
The US “midwifed” the Maidan protests, in the infamous words of Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, resulting in Ukrainian nationalists seizing power in February 2014. Putin described them as “open neo-Nazis” who glorify WWII Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, killer of Russians, Poles, Jews and “everyone down the line, on Hitler’s orders.”