Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has no regrets over Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea because it overturned “a historical injustice”.
He made the comment in a state television documentary broadcast on Sunday to mark 15 years in power.
“I think we did the right thing and I don’t regret a thing,” Putin said of his decision to take back the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine.
“When we defend our (interests), we go to the end.”
Explaining the motivation behind Crimea’s takeover, Putin said it was righting a historic wrong after Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred the peninsula from Russia to Ukraine in 1954, then only a symbolic move since both were in the USSR.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and subsequent charges that it is supporting pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine have plunged relations with the West to Cold War-era lows.