Speaking at his annual news conference on December 23, Putin responded testily to a reporter's question about Russia's intentions, listing off a litany of grievances about Ukraine and NATO.
"Now they tell us, war, war, war. It seems they are preparing another operation [in Donbas] and are warning us not to get in the way, or there'll be sanctions," Putin said. He also accused the West of creating an "anti-Russia" sentiment in Ukraine by arming it and "brainwashing the population."
U.S. and Russian diplomats have tentatively scheduled to meet for new talks, reportedly in Geneva, sometime after the New Year.
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