President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said that there are still no Russian military in the Donbas, but there are "certain military and militia formations". He made a corresponding statement during a press conference in Moscow on December 14.
“There is no Russian army on the territory of the Donbas, but certain military, militia formations were really created there. They are self-sufficient and ready to repulse any large-scale military actions against the Donbas," he noted.
The Russian president went on saying that the creation of such formations corresponds to the interests of the population of the occupied territories in the east of Ukraine.
“Because if they do not have such opportunity there, then a "massacre" and even something worse than in Srebrenica will be carried out by so-called nationalist battalions, and nothing will stop them, including appeals, as some Western colleagues advised me in human rights international organizations.”
Earlier, QHA reported that Vladimir Putin considers deployment of peacekeepers in the Donbas quite appropriate. At the same time, Putin added that peacekeepers can only be on the line of demarcation in the Donbas and should be introduced only after direct talks with Donetsk and Luhansk, since "this cannot be resolved without direct contact with representatives of self-proclaimed republics of the DPR and LPR".