Russian President Vladimir Putin says the events in Ukraine which toppled President Viktor Yanukovych amounted to an “anti-constitutional coup and armed seizure of power”.
He said “militants” had plunged the country into “chaos”.
But he also said there was no need yet to send Russian troops to Ukraine.
Russian and Ukrainian troops in Crimea are involved in a tense stand-off, but fears of an imminent Russian assault have eased.
Yanukovych had agreed to all that the opposition wanted, Putin said.
He insisted that Yanukovych was still the legitimate president.
“There were only three legal means to remove a president,” he said. “Death, personal resignation or impeachment.”