Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Putin v Ukraine

But in Ukraine, one third are ethnic Russians.  Out of forty five million people, in line with the official census, seventeen millions are Russians [actually 8.3M].  There are regions, where only the Russian population lives, for instance, in the Crimea.  90% are Russians [actually 59%].  Generally speaking, Ukraine is a very complicated state.  Ukraine, in the form it currently exists, was created in the Soviet times, it received its territories from Poland --  after the Second World war, from Czechoslovakia, from Romania -- and at present not all the problems have been solved as yet in the border region with Romania in the Black Sea.  Then, it received huge territories from Russia in the east and south of the country.  It is a complicated state formation.  If we introduce into it NATO problems, other problems, it may put the state on the verge of its existence.  Complicated internal political problems are taking place there.  We should act also very-very carefully.  We do not have any right to veto, and, probably, we do not pretend to have.  But I want that all of us, when deciding such issues, realize that we have there our interests as well.  Well, seventeen million Russians currently live in Ukraine.  Who may state that we do not have any interests there?  South, the south of Ukraine, completely, there are only Russians.

-- Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (7 October 1952 -), Russian politician and former KGB intelligence officer who is serving as the current President of Russia since 2012, previously being in the office from 1999 until 2008, in a speech at the NATO Bucharest summit, 2 April 2008

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