Asked if Russian forces took part in operations in Crimea, President Putin says: “No, they did not participate,” adding: “There are lots of uniforms that look similar.” (AFP)
“Our actions are often described by the West as not legitimate, but look at US operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. “Our actions are legitimate from the point of view of international law, because Ukraine’s legitimate president asked us for help. “Defending these people is in our interests, this is a humanitarian mission, we do not want to ‘enslave’ anyone.” (BBC Monitoring).
Mr Putin says Russia reserves the right to intervene if there is “lawlessness” in Russian-speaking areas of eastern Ukraine