It was the West that started the war in Ukraine, and Russia is using force to stop it, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address to the Federal Assembly.
Putin said Russia tried to settle the conflict in the Donbas region by peaceful means.
“We were doing everything possible to solve this problem peacefully, negotiating a peaceful way out of this difficult conflict, but behind our backs a very different scenario was being prepared,” he said.
The Russian President accused the West of using Ukraine as a training ground and a “battering ram” against Russia.
“Responsibility for inciting the Ukrainian conflict, for the escalation, for the increase in the number of its victims lies entirely with the Western elites and, of course, with the current Kyiv regime, for which the Ukrainian people, in fact, are alien. The Ukrainian regime today serves the interests of third countries rather than national interests. The West uses Ukraine as a battering ram against Russia, Putin stated.