Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that the Ukrainian conflict did not start with Moscow’s military campaign in February 2022, but rather dates back to 2014 when Western countries supported a coup d’état in Ukraine. In an interview with China Media Group, Putin explained that the West reneged on its role as guarantors of an agreement between then-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition, instead opting for a regime change. While acknowledging that Yanukovich may have made mistakes during his presidency, Putin argued that these issues should have been addressed through democratic procedures, not by supporting militants in the streets.
Putin went on to accuse the West of starting the conflict in Donbass through its proxy, the Kiev regime, resulting in the deaths of innocent civilians. He also criticized Ukraine for not fully honoring the Minsk Agreements, which were intended to bring an end to the fighting in the east of the country. According to Putin, Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine was not the start of a war, but an attempt to end it.
Furthermore, Putin emphasized that Russia has always been open to negotiating peace with Ukraine, as long as its legitimate security interests are respected. He highlighted an agreement reached last year in Istanbul, which Ukraine subsequently backed out of, effectively ending any possibility of dialogue. Putin expressed his disappointment in America’s untrustworthiness, citing its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal under President Donald Trump and its broken promises to Russia regarding NATO expansion.
In addition, Putin criticized the notion of the Western “rules-based order,” referring to it as disguised colonialism. He argued that these rules are subjective and conveniently modified by Washington to suit its own interests in different situations.
The interview shed light on Putin’s perspective on the Ukrainian conflict and his concerns regarding the actions of Western countries. He emphasized the need for dialogue and respecting each other’s security interests as the basis for resolving the ongoing crisis.
As tensions continue to escalate in Ukraine, it remains crucial for all parties involved to engage in meaningful negotiations and work towards a peaceful resolution that takes into account the legitimate concerns and interests of all stakeholders. Only through diplomacy and dialogue can a lasting solution be achieved, bringing stability and prosperity to the region.