PUTIN SAYS HE WAS READY TO PUT NUCLEAR FORCES ON ALERT OVER CRIMEA

Fox News on March 16, 2015, reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that he was ready to put his country’s nuclear forces on alert to secure the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine last year. Excerpts below:

Putin made the comments in a pre-recorded documentary broadcast on Russian state television to mark the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s takeover of the Black Sea peninsula. The film featured an interview in which Putin admits “we were ready to do this” when asked about his willingness to ready Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

The documentary aired as rumors swirled around the Russian leader’s 10-day absence from public life. He is scheduled to meet with the president of Kyrgyzstan Monday.

Putin said his plans for a Crimean operation started after Yanukovych fled.

Russia initially denied that the unmarked forces who took control in Crimea were Russian, but Putin later admitted they were. In the Sunday documentary, he said he ordered the defense ministry to deploy military intelligence special forces, marines and paratroopers “under the cover of strengthening the protection of our military facilities.”

Putin also said Russian forces helped Yanukovych escape to Russia.

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