Russian President Vladimir Putin during the press conference chose not to give a direct answer to the question regarding Russia`s military presence in the Ukrainian Donbas.
Roman Tsymbaliuk, a UNIAN correspondent in Russia, asked Putin why he had sent troops to Donbas, allegedly to protect the Russian-speaking population, as well as where such move was laid out in Minsk agreements.
Tsymbaliuk also asked Putin whether he understood that once he retired, Ukrainians would continue to perceive Russians as occupiers, since Crimea and part of Donbas had been occupied with the participation of the regular units of the Russian armed forces.
”You know, it would be great if the Ukrainian army in Donbas was not considered occupiers in their own country,” Putin said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Putin explained why the ”representatives of Donbas” were not satisfied with the negotiations with Ukraine on the exchange of prisoners.