Russian President Vladimir Putin has promised to do everything to stop the bloodshed in neighboring Ukraine.
Speaking in Crimea, Putin described the violence in east Ukraine as fratricide. He also lashed out at Western governments for pressuring Russia over Ukraine. He said Moscow will withdraw its participation in such organizations as the European Court of Human Rights, should the West threaten Russia’s national interests. Putin also said he has signed off on establishing a Russian military task force in Crimea. Earlier this year, Crimea rejoined Russia decades after Moscow gave the peninsula to Ukraine during the Soviet era. The majority of Crimeans voted for re-integration with Russia in a referendum on March 16.