Study Material | Test Series | Crash Course
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Current Affairs Crash Course Download Player Download Android App
UKRAINE CRISIS: Putin Defends his Stance on Ukraine
Mar 07, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered a vigorous defence of his country’s intervention in Ukraine, that the pro-Russian former government in Kiev was illegally overthrown and that the man he regards as Ukraine’s legitimate president asked him for military help. But he asserted that the troops wearing unmarked uniforms in Ukraine’s Crimea region are members of local self-defence groups—not Russian forces.

In his first public comments about the crisis since President Viktor Yanukovych was deposed  on  Feb. 22, Putin described Ukraine as lawless and suggested that Ukrainians appeared unable to run their own country. He said masked militants were roaming the streets of Kiev—even though the Ukrainian capital has remained calm in recent days.

After days of heightening tension, Putin’s remarks appeared to suggest that Russia could refrain from escalation—if Ukraine gets its house in order. Hours later, Russia proclaimed the successful test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile in Asia, a move unrelated to the crisis but a demonstration to Ukraine and the West of Russia’s military prowess.

Putin said that so far he has not found it necessary to send troops to Ukraine but that Russia had fortified security at its installations in Crimea, where its Black Sea Fleet is based. He did not mention the Russian troops and naval forces that have surrounded Ukrainian bases and ships in Crimea.



US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry rejected Putin’s assertions after Kerry charging during a visit to Kiev that Russia has been working hard to create a pretext for being able to invade further. Despite Putin’s claims, it was not true that Russia needs to send in troops to safeguard Russians or Russian speakers in Ukraine from violent reprisals. Obama said Russia was seeking through force to exert influence on a neighboring country.

Putin, however, accused the United States of engineering Ukraine’s troubles, suggesting that it was using Ukrainians as guinea pigs in some kind of misguided experiment. They sit there across the pond as if in a lab running all kinds of experiments on the rats. Why would they do it? No one can explain it.

In Kiev, his remarks were greeted with less ferocity than might have been expected. The new government is under enormous pressure from the Russian intervention and from unrest in eastern cities, coupled with a financial crisis. It is treading carefully. As Crimea slipped further into Russian control, Ukrainian military units there stood their ground but were careful not to provoke a conflict.

In Ukraine’s parliament, there was talk of finding a way to give Crimea more autonomy if it agrees to remain a part of Ukraine. The region has scheduled a March 30 referendum on independence or accession to Russia, although Crimea’s new leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said  that he wants to hold the vote sooner. Kerry said that Russia had installed Aksyonov in a hurried and rigged selection process last week.

Putin said the whole operation is a friendly one, designed to help out a fraternal nation. But he described Ukraine as deeply troubled country where corruption and social stratification are even worse than in Russia.

Crimea to Join Russian Federation; Sanctions against Russia

Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia on 6 March and its Russia-backed government set a referendum in 10 days' time in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian region that drew a sharp riposte from US President Barack Obama.

Also on 6 March Barack Obama ordered assets frozen and U.S. visas blocked for all persons determined to have impeded democracy, contributed to violence or engaged in corruption in Ukraine. He ordered sanctions on those responsible for Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, including bans on travel to the United States and freezing of their U.S. assets. He echoed European Union leaders and the pro-Western government in Ukraine in declaring that the proposed referendum would violate international law.

The EU condemned Russian actions in Crimea as illegal, voiced support for Ukraine's territorial integrity but took only minor steps suspending talks with Russia on visas and a new investment pact while warning of tougher steps if there is no negotiated solution within a short period.

US administration officials said sanctions would not apply to President Vladi¬mir Putin or other top Russian officials. It is an unusual and extraordinary circumstance to sanction a head of state. The measures are intended to send a strong message that we intend to impose costs on Russia for its military intervention in Crimea, the autonomous Ukrainian region.

The sanctions are the toughest measure yet as the United States and its European allies took steps to show their disapproval of Russia’s military moves in Ukraine. The European Union also approved sanctions against 18 Ukrainians.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.

http://www.drishtiias.com/upsc-current-affairs-article-UKRAINE-CRISIS-Putin-Defends-his-Stance-on-Ukraine