Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered lengthy remarks on Soviet history and the formation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic under Communist rule in the 20th Century.
Here are a few quotes from the remarks:
- "Let's start with the fact that modern Ukraine was entirely created by Russia, more precisely, by the Bolshevik, communist Russia. This process began almost immediately after the 1917 revolution," Putin said.
- "Then, on the eve and after the Second World War, Stalin already annexed to the USSR and transferred to Ukraine some lands that previously belonged to Poland, Romania and Hungary," Putin said.
- "And in 1954, for some reason, Khrushchev took Crimea from Russia and gave it to Ukraine. Actually, this is how the territory of Soviet Ukraine was formed," Putin said.
Putin published a tendentious essay on Ukrainian and Russian history last summer, in what was widely viewed as a pretext for escalating pressure on Ukraine.