Russian President Vladimir Putin has a theory about the sudden outburst of street protests in the Ukraine: It’s not sudden and it’s not Ukrainian. “Outside actors” are to blame for the unrest, he said during a press conference on Monday.
Putin suggested that “well-organized and trained militant groups” played a role in the protests, which he characterized as “more of a pogrom than a revolution.”
Demonstrators have spilled into the streets since the Ukrainian president abruptly cancelled trade talks with the EU, in what was widely regarded as a capitulation to heavy-handed pressure tactics from Moscow.
The comments reflect a long-standing position by Putin that the “color revolutions” that swept through post-Soviet client states in the early 2000′s were “developed schemes” rather than spontaneous eruptions of discontent.