Ukraine crisis: Putin slams 'anti-constitutional, armed' power seizure in Ukraine

Demonstrators hold posters featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin as German nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and as a devil during a protest against Russia's intervention in Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Vilnius, on March 3, 2014. Put
Demonstrators hold posters featuring Russian President Vladimir Putin as German nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and as a devil during a protest against Russia's intervention in Ukraine in front of the Russian embassy in Vilnius, on March 3, 2014. Putin on Tuesday slammed the takeover of power in Ukraine by new authorities who deposed president Viktor Yanukovych as an anti-constitutional and armed seizure of power. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday slammed the takeover of power in Ukraine by new authorities who deposed president Viktor Yanukovych as an anti-constitutional and armed seizure of power.

"There can only be one assessment of what happened in Kiev and Ukraine as a whole - this was an anti-constitutional takeover and armed seizure of power," he said on live television in his first comments on the crisis since the ousting of Mr Yanukovych.

Mr Putin also said the use of force in Ukraine is "a choice of last resort".