Answering a question from a male named Dmytro from Kyiv who asked Putin during the 15th Q&A Direct Line on Thursday, June 15: "Why have you abandoned us? Why do Russian television channels smear us with the same paint?" Putin said: "Thank you for cherishing our common history... We do not smear anyone with any paint... We generally try not to smear anybody with black paint..."

Read also"Russia without Putin": 1,500 detained as protests hit Russia cities"We are afraid of inflicting damage – we do not want to meddle in the internal political processes of Ukraine," Putin added.

The Direct Line is being broadcast live by Russian TV channels and radio stations.

Earlier Putin was reported to have announced that Ukraine's rapprochement with NATO is a threat to Russia's security, as the Alliance's military infrastructure could appear on Ukrainian territory.