Putin Admits “Little Green Men” in Crimea Were Russian Troops
Russia's President Vladimir Putin admitted that the “little green men” who seized strategic points in Crimea in March were Russian troops.
In a traditional session which gives opportunity to Russians to pose questions to the head of state, Putin said the main goal was to protect the freedom of the Crimean people, so they can freely express their will in the referendum, which took place on March 16. By an overwhelming majority the Crimeans voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation.
“So that there will be no tanks, no nationalist combat groups and people with extremist views, armed with automatic weapons, behind the self defence forces of Crimea, naturally stood our troops,” Putin said in answer to the question who were the well-armed masked military units with no insignia, ironically dubbed “the little green men”. “Their actions were very fair, but decisive and professional.”
According to Putin, this was the only way the referendum in Crimea could be open, honest and honorable.
So far Putin was denying the presence of Russian troops outside their bases in Crimea before and during the referendum, in spite the numerous proofs to the contrary.
Putin, however, denied the claims that there are Russian troops or special task forces in Southeastern Ukraine, posing as local insurgents.
“This is nonsense,” he said. “There are no Russian military units, no special forces, no instructors. All those are local citizens.”
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