5 Mar 2022 16:31

Decision to start military operation in Ukraine was hard - Putin

MOSCOW. March 5 (Interfax) - The decision to start a special operation in Ukraine was hard, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"I have to start, like they say in such cases, from the center of the field. I said that before the operation and I had said it before this decision was made, it's a hard decision without any doubt," Putin said during a meeting with women from the cabin crews of Russian airlines.

The situation in Ukraine went out of control even "before the anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine, which was actively supported by Western countries," he said.

"There is no concealing that. They are not hiding it and they have said directly they have spent $5 billion on it. They handed out hot pies on the Maidan, and then instead of putting the situation back, even if it went out of control, even if it was an excessive act [...] they still could and should have returned the situation to the political realm," the president said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the start of a "special military operation" in Ukraine in the morning on February 24. Western countries retaliated by imposing massive sanctions against Russia.