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Putin condemns Kiev over 'blockade' of east Ukraine

April 16, 2015 5:21 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Ukraine’s government is “cutting off” defiant rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine through an economic blockade.

He was addressing a huge Russian audience in a live televised phone-in.

He also insisted “there are no Russian troops in Ukraine”. Moscow denies Western charges that it is directly arming and reinforcing the rebels.

Later he said those who had ordered the murder of Boris Nemtsov – one of his leading critics – might never be found.

Mr Nemtsov, a prominent opposition politician, was shot dead on 27 February near the Kremlin.

Five suspects, all of them Chechens, are in custody. Mr Putin condemned the murder as “disgraceful”.