MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Russia is strengthening nuclear deterrence capability and equipping troops with latest armaments for its own security, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
"We should feel ourselves protected and have the possibility to implement our economic and social plans," Interfax quoted him as saying at a youth forum in central Russia's Tver region.
Still, Putin said, Moscow is not going to engage in large-scale military conflicts but is constantly on alert to repulse any aggression.
The president said the current air raids of Ukrainian troops in that country's eastern regions are similar to what Nazi Germany did to Soviet cities in World War II.
He stressed that the western part of Ukraine should not impose its values on the whole country.
Kiev must start negotiations with the restive eastern regions over rights of the people, Putin said.
Though the Minsk tripartite meeting came with no breakthrough to the Ukraine crisis this Tuesday, the international society was even more alarmed by reports of fighting in east Ukraine spreading southward.
On Wednesday, Ukraine and Western countries accused Russia of launching a new incursion into Ukraine by sending its troops and hardware into the Donetsk region. Russia denied the charges.