Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukrainian operations in the east are reminiscent of the Nazi siege of Leningrad during the World War II. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (August 29) compared the Ukrainian military's operations in the country's east to the Nazi siege of Leningrad during World War II. Ukrainian government troops have been battling a pro-Russian insurgency in the east for months, after separatists seized towns and declared "people's republics". "Small towns and big cities are besieged by the Ukrainian army which is directly shelling living quarters with the aim to destroy infrastructure, suppress the spirit of those who fight against them," Putin told thousands of supporters at a youth camp. "You know, even though it is very sad, it reminds me of the events of World War II when Nazi German occupiers, fascist German troops laid siege to our cities, like Leningrad. You are from St. Petersburg, right? So they laid siege to our cities, to Leningrad, directly shelling cities, killing their residents." Putin's comments, broadcast live on a Russian state TV channel took place as NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia's direct military operations in Ukraine were in blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.