BERLIN – President Vladimir Putin has boasted that Russia took over Crimea “without a single shot being fired.” There’s even a propaganda movie that presents the operation as the result of brilliant Kremlin planning and seamless execution. A document published Monday shed new light on why the annexation was bloodless — and on the limits of Putin’s aggressiveness.
The news site Pravda.com.ua has published the transcript of a meeting of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council that took place Feb. 28, 2014. The previous day, Russian troops without identifying insignia helped pro-Moscow activists take over Crimea’s parliament and government. The following day, the Russian parliament authorized Putin to start military operations in Ukraine.