Russian President Vladimir Putin today issued multiple statements condemning the Ukrainian government’s military offensive against eastern protesters, warning they were “anti-constitutional” and bringing the nation to the brink of civil war.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made similar comments, saying he hoped Ukraine’s interim government, which he reiterated Russia won’t recognize as legitimate, “has brains to avoid driving the country to such shocks.”
Ukraine has presented the offensive against its eastern provinces as an “anti-terrorist” operation, but is really targeting protesters, many of them ethnic Russians, who are calling for either increased autonomy or outright secession from the Ukraine.
After the secession of Crimea, many in the Ukraine interim government believe they need to be pro-active top prevent future secession, though as has been seen elsewhere, military offensives against protests have a tendency to increase resentment and drive the demonstrators to more militant stances.
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