On February 1, Obama said that the United States "had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine," in an interview to CNN. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Obama's remarks proved Washington's direct involvement in the Ukrainian coup.
"We worked with the Government of Ukraine, the opposition, and with other stakeholders to reach an agreement to put Ukraine back on track toward fulfilling the aspirations of the Ukrainian people for democracy, respect for human rights, European integration and long-term economic growth," the source said.
On February 22, 2014, a coup took place in Ukraine following which a government with a strong nationalist element came to power. After the coup, in April, the new Kiev authorities launched a military operation in Ukraine's southeast in an attempt to suppress pro-independence fighters that refused to recognize them.