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Putin vows to end bloodshed in eastern Ukraine

 
 
 
 
 
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to do everything to stop the ongoing violence in eastern parts of neighboring Ukraine.

Speaking in Crimea on Thursday, the Russian president described the violence in eastern Ukraine as fratricide.

“The country has sunk into bloody chaos in a fratricidal conflict,” Putin said, adding, “We will do our best to end this conflict as soon as possible so that the bloodletting in Ukraine ends.”

The Russian president also lashed out at Western governments for pressuring Russia over Ukraine. Putin said Moscow will withdraw its participation in such organizations as the European Court of Human Rights, should the West threaten Russia’s national interests.

President Putin also said he has signed off on establishing a Russian military task force in Crimea.

Earlier this year, Crimea rejoined Russia decades after Moscow gave the peninsula to Ukraine during the Soviet era.

On March 16, Crimea’s largely Russian-speaking residents voted in a referendum to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.

The Ukrainian government, the United States and the European Union rejected the referendum and condemned Crimea’s move.

On March 21, President Putin signed into law documents that officially made the Black Sea peninsula part of the Russian territory. Putin said the move was carried out based on international law.

Russia said last month it would invest more than USD 20 billion in Crimea up to 2020 mainly for building a bridge across a four-kilometer strait separating Crimea from Russia.

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