Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that deployment of military in east Ukraine by the Kiev authorities was a crime against its own people that will "have consequences."
"If Kiev really began to use the army against the country's population... that is a very serious crime against its own people," Putin said.
If the pro-West Kiev authorities are resorting to force, "it is of course some kind of junta," he said.
"That is simply a punitive measure that will without question have consequences for the people making these decisions, including for our inter-governmental relations," he added, without specifying the nature of consequences.
Speaking at an event in Saint Petersburg, Putin also added that the Western sanctions imposed against Russia for the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine are not going to be effective.
"Everyone knows... that no sanctions are effective in the modern world, they never have an intended effect," Putin said, calling them "political".
"It is absolutely not critical," he said. "Though I would not say they are a positive thing either."