Putin Considers Ukrainians, Russians 'Same People'

World | April 17, 2014, Thursday // 14:56| Views: | Comments: 5
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Bulgaria: Putin Considers Ukrainians, Russians 'Same People' Crimean people watch a TV broadcast with Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking during his annual call-in live broadcast, on the seafront in Sevastopol, Crimea, 17 April 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Politics are being played out in the world that are aiming to divide Russians and Ukrainians, who are virtually "the same people", Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

In a traditional session which gives opportunity to Russians to pose questions to the head of state, Putin also compared recent events in Ukraine with those that shook Yugoslavia during the 1990s and made references to Eastern Ukraine's place in Russia during the Tsarist era.

Answering to citizens' questions asked via the so-called "direct line", an event held annually, Putin said that White Movement, a confederation of anti-communist forces that fought the Bolshevik in the Russian Civil War, "did not even allow themselves to think of dividing Russia and Ukraine".

Russia's President also called for compromise and restraint to be shown by both sides in Eastern Ukraine's unrest.

He said that for his country it was of utmost importance that guarantees for the "legal rights and interests of Russian and Russian-language citizens" in Eastern and South-Eastern Ukraine be provided.

Explaining his stance on the Ukrainian crisis, however, Putin added that if Tsarist-era vocabulary is to be used, Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Herson, Nikolaev, Odessa were called "Novorossia" (New Russia) and "were [back then] not part of Ukraine".

He reminded that their territories were "handed to Ukraine in the 1920s by the Soviet government. Why they did it, only God knows".

Underscoring the role of Kiev's leadership in causing the current crisis, he said that "oligarchs" had been appointed as governors in the east, according to Russian outlet Vedomosti.

The President also put emphasis on Ukraine's upcoming presidential elections on May 25, downplaying the role of a potential federalization, a move on which Russia has fervently insisted over the past weeks.

He asserted he was in contact "with all main presidential candidates" in the country.

Regarding the gas dispute between Kiev and Moscow, Putin made clear that Russia could only provide gas to Ukraine for a month more, then it would all have to be paid by the government.

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» To the forumComments (5)
Captain America - 20 Apr 2014 // 08:05:14

Count Dracula, I know you care nothing for Liberty; your culture is one that seeks to subjugate yourselves and others. Knock, knock. Who's there? SMERSH!

Optimistic - 19 Apr 2014 // 11:17:33

George I think the deal on Thursday will take the Ukraine off the EU Russia agenda so business can be done.

No one mentions the Crimea any more, and the EU sanctions against Russia was just a few visa bans.

If you read the Western News business in the west does not want the Ukraine issues stopping business.

Where is the 18 billion from the IMF?

It actually has not been approved, if the illegal Kiev government does not get this money it is fucked.

Vladimir K. - 19 Apr 2014 // 07:15:19

Captain America. Do you even know what liberty stands for? Well, it stands for promiscious people, cheating wifes, fatty food, no medical care, poor treatment of the poor, gay propaganda showed onto childrens books, cure for cancer not pubicily avaialable (does exist), no public transportation (everyone must use car), stupid children with no idea how the world is, a population whom do not believe in marriage and family values.

Do I choose liberty? No! I choose morals, and my culture, everyone else should to same!

Keep your horrible america for yourself and don't extend it acrosss your borders.

Captain America - 19 Apr 2014 // 06:52:12

Gyorgi, Justice is against those those who use the term "human capital".

George Zheliazkov - 19 Apr 2014 // 04:08:04

Sure they are the same people and Ukraine should try to put its house in order because that mess there is hurting the whole European economy. Money, investments and trade are shifting to Asia and North America and Europe is the loser from all that Ukrainian mess.
There is absolutely no doubt about it that Eurasia as a whole is the future of the world with its human and material capital. Events like those of political unrest and instability in Ukraine are hurting the European economy and the development of the Eurasian continent.
EU and Russia should put some significant pressure on Ukraine to resolve its political and financial crisis which is dragging down the development and prosperity of the area..

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