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Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. "Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes can order be imposed in the country," Putin said at the start of a major nationwide phone-in broadcast on Russian television.

Putin warns of Ukraine abyss, hopes won't need to invade

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss, saying he hoped he would not have to use his "right" to send Russian troops into the country. Russia has massed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine's eastern border as separatist pro-Russian activists seized buildings across east Ukraine, raising fears of a major conflict.

Putin admits Russian troops in Crimea during referendum

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday admitted for the first time that Russian soldiers were present on the Crimean peninsula before and during the referendum that backed rule from Moscow. "Our goal was to ensure the conditions for a free vote," Putin said, explaining who were the soldiers in uniforms without insignia who appeared in Crimea in late February, many of them surrounding Ukrainian military bases.

Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. "Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes can order be imposed in the country," Putin said at the start of a major nationwide phone-in broadcast on Russian television.

Putin warns Ukraine is on 'brink of civil war'

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday that Ukraine is "on the brink of civil war" as clashes between Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian militants escalate, the Russian presidential office said. With the Ukrainian military launching an "anti-terror" operation against militants who have seized government and police buildings and the United States backing the operation, there are few signs that tensions will ease soon in the eastern Donetsk region.

Putin tells Merkel Ukraine now 'on verge of civil war'

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Ukraine was now on the verge of civil war after the Kiev government sent in the army against separatists in the east of the country, the Kremlin said Wednesday. "The Russian president remarked that the sharp escalation of the conflict has placed the country, in effect, on the verge of civil war," the Kremlin said in a statement on telephone talks between the two leaders.

Putin calls for UN condemnation of Kiev's actions in east Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday he wanted clear United Nations condemnation of the "anti-constitutional" military operation by Ukraine against separatists in the east of the country. Putin told Ban in telephone talks that Russia "expects clear condemnation from the United Nations and the international community of the anti-consitutional actions" by Ukraine, which according to Putin had sharply worsened the crisis in the country, the Kremlin said in a statement. sjw/jhb

Putin tells Obama charges of Ukraine interference 'unfounded'

President Vladimir Putin on Monday told US counterpart Barack Obama that charges of Russia meddling in eastern Ukraine were "unfounded", the Kremlin said. "In reply to concern voiced by the American president about so-called Russian interference in southeast Ukraine, the Russian president remarked that such speculations are based on unfounded information," said a statement, referring to a telephone conversation between the two leaders.

Crimea won, Putin tries not to lose Ukraine

By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin looks likely to go down in history as the Russian leader who won back Crimea, but he is fighting to avoid also being remembered as the man who let Ukraine escape from Moscow's sphere of influence. The next six weeks will be decisive in that battle as Ukraine prepares to elect a president on May 25, agree a new constitution and prevent pro-Russian separatists in the east breaking away.

Crimea won, Putin tries not to lose Ukraine

By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin looks likely to go down in history as the Russian leader who won back Crimea, but he is fighting to avoid also being remembered as the man who let Ukraine escape from Moscow's sphere of influence. The next six weeks will be decisive in that battle as Ukraine prepares to elect a president on May 25, agree a new constitution and prevent pro-Russian separatists in the east breaking away.
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