Moscow could not stand aside when people were being shot at in Ukraine, said Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview Sunday on Russia's state TV Channel 1.
"It must be borne in mind that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot at almost at point blank," he was quoted as saying by ITAR TASS news agency.
Asked if it was possible to predict the end of the crisis in Ukraine, RIA news agency quoted Putin as saying: "No. It largely depends on the political will of current Ukrainian authorities."
The West accuses Moscow of supporting pro-Russian separatists who are fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern Ukraine. Russia denied accusations.