Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the "militia of Novorossiya." The text of his address appeared on the Kremlin website on Friday night, August 29.
One could expect that the Russian leader would comment on the statement from Ukrainian President Poroshenko, who said that the Russian Federation allegedly invaded Ukraine. However, Putin did not say a word about it. Putin devoted his address to the fate of Ukrainian soldiers, who were surrounded by Novorossiya militia forces. It is quite possible that Putin will speak about the most recent events in Ukraine, today, on August 29, at Seliger Forum.
Noteworthy, Putin rarely makes such addresses, especially at night. Putin's previous unscheduled address appeared soon after the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in the Donetsk region. On July 21, Putin stated that the crash would not have happened, if the "fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been resumed." It became known later that the address was recorded urgently, without makeup.
Below is the text of Putin's address to the militia of Novorossiya:
"It is clear the militia has achieved a major success in intercepting Kiev's military operation, which represents a grave danger to the population of Donbass and which has already led to the loss of many lives among peaceful residents.
As a result of the militia's actions, a large number of Ukrainian service members who did not participate in the military operation of their own volition but while following orders have been surrounded.
I call on the militia groups to open a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian service members who have been surrounded, so as to avoid any needless loss of life, giving them the opportunity to leave the combat area unimpeded and reunite with their families, to return them to their mothers, wives and children, and to quickly provide medical assistance to those who were injured in the course of the military operation.
For its part, the Russian side is ready and willing to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Donbass, who have been affected by this humanitarian catastrophe.
I once again call on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop military actions, cease fire, sit down at the negotiating table with Donbass representatives and resolve all the accumulated problems exclusively via peaceful means.
August 29, 2014, 01:10"
After Poroshenko's statement about the alleged invasion, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel released special statements as well. They warned that they could further tighten sanctions against Russia. However, like Putin, they did not use the word "invasion."
Russia denies involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. Official spokespeople for the Russian Defense Ministry said that the information was a "hoax." A representative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation stated that with such statements Kiev was trying to "fool its own people."
NATO officials, having announced the presence of over a thousand Russian military men in Ukraine, exposed satellite images, allegedly proving the presence of artillery and armored vehicles of the Russian Armed Forces in the neighboring state. The Russian Defense Ministry reacted to the photos sarcastically.
"You know, it's not funny anymore," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters. "Previously, someone would sign such images - General F. Breedlove, Anders Rasmussen, or, finally, Oana Lungesku. Now, they do no even feel shy about it. Commenting it seriously makes no sense," RIA Novosti quoted the official as saying.