Putin Warns ‘We Were Ready’ To Use Nukes To Secure Crimea

Russian president Vladimir Putin

Putin Warns “We Were Ready” To Use Nukes To Secure Crimea (ZeroHedge, March 16, 2015):

Having re-emerged from his hibernation, Vladimir Putin is wasting no time getting back to business. Having paced 40,000 troops on “snap-readiness,” AP reports that a documentary which aired last night shows Putin explaining that Russia was ready to bring its nuclear weapons into a state of alert during last year’s tensions over the Crimean Peninsula and the overthrow of Ukraine’s president, and admitted well-armed forces in unmarked uniforms who took control of Ukrainian military facilities in Crimea were Russian soldiers. In the documentary, which marks a year since the referendum, Putin says of the nuclear preparedness, “We were ready to do this … (Crimea) is our historical territory. Russian people live there. They were in danger. We cannot abandon them.”

As AP reports,

Russia was ready to bring its nuclear weapons into a state of alert during last year’s tensions over the Crimean Peninsula and the overthrow of Ukraine’s president, President Vladimir Putin said in remarks aired on Sunday.

Putin also expanded on a previous admission that the well-armed forces in unmarked uniforms who took control of Ukrainian military facilities in Crimea were Russian soldiers.

Putin’s comments, in a documentary being shown on state TV, highlight the extent to which alarm spread in Russia in the weeks following Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster in February 2014 after months of street protests that turned increasingly violent.

In the documentary, which marks a year since the referendum, Putin says of the nuclear preparedness, “We were ready to do this … (Crimea) is our historical territory. Russian people live there. They were in danger. We cannot abandon them.”

The comments were reported on the state broadcaster’s website after its transmission in the Russian Far East and before it appeared on the air in Moscow.

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

“We never thought about severing Crimea from Ukraine until the moment that these events began, the government overthrow,” he said, repeating Russia’s contention that Yanukovych was the victim of a coup.

He said he called for a “closed opinion poll” of sentiments among Crimeans about whether to remain in Ukraine. He didn’t give details as to how this survey was conducted, but said “it became clear that 75 percent of the general population desired to join Russia.”

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.”

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It appears the situation remains just ‘dangerous’ for eastern Ukrainians and thus, one can possibly infer, Putin remains ‘ready’ to use nukes if pressed.

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