Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Putin reveals Crimea takeover talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described a secret meeting with officials last year when Russia decided it would take Crimea - the Black Sea region that Moscow annexed from Ukraine last March.

In a trailer for an upcoming documentary, shown on state-owned television last night, Mr Putin said he met with security officials last February to make plans for saving Ukraine's then-president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled power after months of pro-European protests in the Ukrainian capital.

"We got ready to get him right out of Donetsk by land, by sea or by air," he said. "Heavy machine guns were mounted there so that there wouldn't be much discussion about it."

Mr Putin said that after the meeting he told the security chiefs they would be "obliged to start working to return Crimea to Russia".

The minute-long trailer was overlaid with dramatic music and sweeping shots of the Crimean coast. The channel, Rossiya-1, did not specify when the full film would be released.

The Kremlin originally denied that it had sent troops into Crimea, though Mr Putin later announced on state television that Russian troops had been sent in.

Mr Yanukovych was safely on Russian soil by late February, when Russia's military was establishing its presence in Crimea.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph