Putin criticises the West as he defends Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has accused western countries of igniting and sustaining the war in Ukraine – dismissing any blame for Moscow almost a year after the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion of its neighbour.The Russian president also blamed Kyiv for "starting the war" and insisted "we have used and are using force to stop it".He was speaking ahead of the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the conflict. "I want to stress that Kyiv held talks with the West about the delivery of air defence systems, combat aircraft and equipment before the start of the special military operation," Mr Putin said.