Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin posted this statement on his official website on March 21:
My second point relates to the UN Security Council resolution based on which the current intervention — a military intervention — is being carried out. This resolution is flawed and inadequate. If one reads it, then it immediately becomes clear that it authorizes anyone to take any measures against a sovereign state. All in all, it reminds me of a medieval call to crusade, when someone calls upon others to go somewhere and free someone else.
At a press conference later that day, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said:
Under no circumstances is it acceptable to use expressions that essentially lead to a clash of civilizations, such as “crusade” and so on. Otherwise, everything may end up much worse compared to what is going on now. Everyone should remember that.
Since the founding of the Russian Federation, there have been 19 prime ministers. Their average term in office has been less than a year. Putin has served as prime minister since May of 2008. Only two other prime ministers have served longer.