"He (Putin - ed.) wants to bring back the Soviet Union. He said in the interview when he was asked what was the biggest disaster of the XX century - not World War II, not Hiroshima, not Chernobyl, but the collapse of the USSR. That is his way of thinking," President Petro Poroshenko said in the interview to CBS News, answering the question about Vladimir Putin’s goal in Ukraine and whether he wants a weak state on the border with Russia, Censor.NET reports citing the presidential press office.
According to Poroshenko, Russian president wants to reconquer Ukraine: "Yes, reconquer. And bring back the USSR or the Russian empire. Whatever you want."
The head of state noted that Ukraine had substantiated reports on the presence of Russian regular troops in the occupied part of the Donbas.
Asked about the number of Russian soldiers in Ukraine's east, the president stressed: "We have confirmed figures that in different times they had from 10,000 to 2,500 Russian regular troops in the occupied territory. Plus they have almost 50,000 troops, so-called "Russian volunteers" who were mobilized by the Russian Federation and delivered there. They pretend they are not the soldiers of the regular army. But they are Russian nationals and Russian soldiers. They use Russian weapons and ammunition. They are Russians".
Poroshenko emphasizes that up to 50 percent of those fighting in the Donbas are Russian nationals.
"Russia wants to destabilize Ukraine. They want to discredit the achievements of the Revolution of Dignity," he noted.
The president also said that it sounds as "new cold war". However, according to him, Ukraine is a "frontline of the cold war". "But we have a hot war now," the Ukrainian leader stressed.