Russian President Vladimir Putin on military action in Ukraine (Tuesday, March 4, 2014):
"Right now such action is not necessary, but it’s still a possibility. The military exercises that we recently conducted are not connected in any way with the events in Ukraine. The use of military force is an extreme measure. But we have received a direct request from the legitimate President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, for military aid to defend Ukrainian citizens. We see the orgy of neo-Nazis, Nationalists, and anti-Semites, which is currently taking place in various parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv. Sending in troops is an extreme measure. We consider Ukraine our close neighbor, our brother republic. Our armed forces are comrades in arms, friends. I am certain that the Ukrainian and Russian militaries will be on one side of the barricades. And that’s basically what’s happening right now in Crimea. There has not been a single armed skirmish, nor a single shot fired. The only thing that we have done is to strengthen the security of our facilities."