Putin’s Q&A Today
Putin's Q&A arranged for Russian media Putin's dacha outside of Moscow was 90 minutes and a platform from which he gave his views on Ukraine and regional issues.
Putin had been more or less quiet on the entire events into the weekend's military mobilization and this was a chance to "communicate" his views.
It should be noted that clearly Putin approaches these events with a very different lens than western folks but that there is a high degree of rational thought in his views when approached in the context of Russia's history in the region and the uncertainty surrounding the new government in Ukraine.
Here is the core of what Putin said:
1. Putin sees recent events in Ukraine as "unconstitutional coup d'etat. Hard to argue with this.
2. Current authorities in Ukraine lack legitimacy because they were not elected in or followed a proper political transformation process (impeaching Yanukovich). Parliament only partially legitimate b/c lack of quorum and/or MPs acting under duress (both claims essentially allegations).
3. The government does not represent the interests of the entire country. Southern and eastern Ukraine is particularly uninterested in this current government.
4. A new constitution and new elections are required to legitimize the process.
5. Putin agreed to work with any group that wins that election, and used past examples of his work with UKR PMs and Presidents not necessarily seen as "Russia friendly".