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The Ukrainian armed coup was organized from Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview for a new documentary aired Sunday. The Americans tried to hide behind the Europeans, but Moscow saw through the trick, he added.
“The trick of the situation was that outwardly the [Ukrainian] opposition was supported mostly by the Europeans. But we knew for sure that the real masterminds were our American friends”, Putin said in a documentary, ‘Crimea – The Way Home,’ aired by Rossiya 1 news channel.
“They helped training the nationalists, their armed groups, in Western Ukraine, in Poland and to some extent in Lithuania,” he added. “They facilitated the armed coup.”
“Considering the ethnic composition of the Crimean population, the violence there would have been worse [than in Kiev]. We had to act to prevent negative development, not to allow tragedies like the one that happened in Odessa, where dozens of people were burned alive,” Putin said.
“Our goal was not to take Crimea by annexing it. Our final goal was to allow the people express their wishes on how they want to live,” he said.
“I decided for myself: what the people want will happen. If they want greater autonomy with some extra rights within Ukraine, so be it. If they decide otherwise, we cannot fail them. You know the results of the referendum. We did what we had to do,” Putin said.
According to Putin, part of the operation was to deploy K-300P Bastion coastal defense missiles to demonstrate Russia’s willingness to protect the peninsula from military attack.
“We deployed them in a way that made them seen clearly from space,” Putin said.