Ukraine ‘started the war’ and Russia ‘used force to stop it’, Putin claims

Vladimir Putin has claimed Ukraine “started the war” and Russia “used force in order to stop it”.

The president was speaking during his state of the nation address, days before the one-year anniversary of Moscow’s invasion.

“I would like to repeat that they started the war and we used force to stop it,” Mr Putin said, after accusing Ukraine of “directly” attacking Donbas in 2015.

He also accused the West of releasing the ‘genie from the bottle’.

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