I do not know if the Kyiv Post mistranslated what Putin said, my Russian is not good to try to translate. And honestly, I still struggle just to follow along and get pieces of Russian conversation.
“Russia did not annex Crimea by force. Russia only created conditions under which people could make their decision,”
Putin responded: “I wouldn’t be scared, but we must understand the situation. We were promised that after the union of Germany NATO wouldn’t expand. But it kept growing…when NATO borders come closer to our border we think we need to do something.”
He added that the annexation of Crimea was connected to NATO’s expansion eastward. We thought that if we didn’t do anything there would be a day when they would drag Ukraine into NATO. And then Russia would be pushed out of the region that is very important for our country.
And he called eastern Ukraine Novoryssiya. Even though he said that they were not the same as Crimea, and since the people were 50/50 Russian and Ukrainian Russia might not be able to do there what they had done in Crimea.
So? Why not tell the people, “We will NOT let you join Russia. Calm down, and enjoy being in Ukraine.”
Why does he keep hinting that Russia would like to accept ‘Novorussiya’ back into ‘Mother Russia?’
What do you think?