Putin sends warning to those living on ‘historic Russian lands’

During the Soviet era and the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia "lost enormous territory," said Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at a concert marking the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea.

"In the 1920s, the Bolsheviks, forming the Soviet Union for reasons still incomprehensible, gave away significant territories, geopolitical spaces to quasi-state entities," the Russian president said during an event at Luzhniki Stadium.

Then, according to Putin, the Bolsheviks "broke apart their party" and the Soviet Union, and as a result Russia was left without historical lands.

Moscow is ready to live in friendship and cooperation with its neighbors, Putin said.

"But we will never agree with only one thing: that they allow themselves to use the generous gifts of Russia to harm the Russian Federation itself. I hope it will be heard," Putin said.

As an example, he cited the "return of Crimea," which he said was "the restoration of historical justice."

Russia sees the inhabitants of neighboring countries not just as close geographically, but as fraternal peoples, Putin said.

"We are ready to give a helping hand to ensure development, to move forward, to advance together, using our competitive advantages," Putin added, as quoted by Interfax.

  Putin, Russia, Crimea