Præsident Volodymyr Zelensky og andre højtstående embedsmænd i Kiev havde 'erklæret, at Minsk-aftalerne ikke kan gennemføres,' huskede Putin med henvisning til køreplanen for fred i Ukraine, som blev formidlet af Rusland, Tyskland og Frankrig.
2014- og 2015-aftalerne beskrev, hvordan Kiev kunne reintegrere sine udbryderregioner ved at tilbyde dem en generel amnesti, større autonomi og repræsentation i regeringen. Den ukrainske regering stoppede fremskridt med deres implementering og hævdede, at den kun kunne fortsætte med sin side af aftalen efter at have genovertaget kontrollen over de oprørskontrollerede områder.
Kommentar: Delvist oversat af Sott.net fra 'Kiev rejected peace deal, West nourished neo-Nazism to attack Russia' - Putin explains reasons for military operation in Ukraine
Hostilities in eastern Ukraine between government and rebel forces have continued since 2014, when the authorities that came to power in Kiev after the Western-backed Maidan used the military to quash the uprising in the east.
"They publicly refused to [implement the roadmap]. Well, tolerating this genocide that had been going on for eight years was no longer possible," Putin explained.
Comment: According to UN estimates, over 13,000 people, including women and children died during Ukraine's assault on the Donbass.
The Russian president added that Ukraine, backed by Western countries, was being "turned into a foothold against Russia."
"They nourished the sprouts of neo-Nazism on purpose. A clash between Russia and those forces was inevitable, they were selecting the right time for an attack," Putin said.
Russia pre-empted the expected aggression from Kiev by starting its offensive in late February, the Russian leader claimed. He said Moscow will achieve its goals, including the defense of the breakaway republics, which Russia recognized as independent states days before the attack.
The West attempted to retaliate against Moscow with economic sanctions and attempts to isolate it diplomatically and commercially on the international stage. Putin said Russia was too big a country for anyone to really isolate. "We will work with our partners who really want cooperation," he said.
Putin made his remarks during a visit to Russia's Vostochny space launch facility. Tuesday is International Space Day, celebrated on the date when the USSR made the world's first manned mission to space in 1961. Putin remarked that Soviet space-race achievements had come into being despite Moscow's then technological isolation from the West, which served as a good indicator that modern Russia also doesn't need Western technologies to be successful.