Vladimir Putin Accuses U.S. Of Organizing Coup in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s then-President, Viktor Yanukovich, was the result of a coup organized by the U.S. and backed by the rest of Europe.
Yanukovich was removed from office following an uprising by his country’s opposition, spurred by his rejection of a trade deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Moscow.
In an op-ed in the German newspaper Die Zeit to mark the 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, which ushered the Red Army’s entry into World War II, the Russian president reiterated the position of the Kremlin and Yanukovich—a Putin ally— that the revolution had been facilitated by the West.
Putin wrote that the west had promoted “mutual distrust” with Moscow following the end of the Cold War with NATO expansion in which post-Soviet and eastern European countries were given a choice to side with the West or with Russia.
“In fact, it was an ultimatum,” Putin wrote, “the consequences of such an aggressive policy can be seen in the example of the Ukrainian tragedy of 2014,” he said which Europe had “actively supported.”
“Why did you need to do this?” he said in the piece which was also released on the Kremlin website. “Why did the United States organize a coup?” he wrote.
“Why did the countries of Europe weakly support it, provoking a split in Ukraine itself and the withdrawal of Crimea from its composition?” he added, in his description of Moscow’s annexation of the peninsula that year.