- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 6, 2014

The State Department issued a mocking message for President Vladimir Putin over justifications he’s put forth about his invasion of Crimea: You’re full of “Russian fiction,” the statement read.

The statement was aimed at challenging Mr. Putin’s assertions that he had little choice but to send military troops to the Ukrainian region, because he was only trying to protect ethnic Russians who lived in Crimea.

The U.S. statement read, the Los Angeles Times reported: That’s quite a piece of “starling Russian fiction,” nearly unrivaled since novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky penned that “the formula ‘two plus two equals five’ is not without its attractions.”

The harsh message came just as Secretary of State John Kerry stepped to Paris to discuss with various heads of state a peaceful settlement to the Ukrainian issue — and one that would allow the Russians to step back without appearing weak. At the same time, the United States wants to expose the fact that Mr. Putin has claimed “citizen defense groups” took control of Crimean facilities — not Russian military troops, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The statement from the United States also clarified that “strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea.”