He added that Russia does not have a goal to occupy Ukraine, but said the responsibility for bloodshed lies with the Ukrainian “regime”.
Mr Putin also warned other countries that attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russian President Vladimir Putin has “chosen a path of bloodshed and destruction” with his attack on Ukraine and that the UK and its allies would respond “decisively”.
At 6am a statement was realised on the Kremlin website where Putin urged he was “ensuring the security of Russia itself.”
Vladimir Putin’s statement on Ukraine action
He started the statement (translated by google): “Let me start with what I said in my address of February 21 this year. We are talking about what causes us particular concern and anxiety, about those fundamental threats that year after year, step by step, are rudely and unceremoniously created by irresponsible politicians in the West in relation to our country.
“I mean the expansion of the NATO bloc to the east, bringing its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders.
“It is well known that for 30 years we have persistently and patiently tried to reach an agreement with the leading NATO countries on the principles of equal and indivisible security in Europe.
“In response to our proposals, we constantly faced either cynical deception and lies, or attempts to pressure and blackmail, while the North Atlantic Alliance, in the meantime, despite all our protests and concerns, is steadily expanding.
“The military machine is moving and, I repeat, is coming close to our borders.”
He continued: “Today’s events are not connected with the desire to infringe on the interests of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
“They are connected with the protection of Russia itself from those who took Ukraine hostage and are trying to use it against our country and its people.
“I repeat, our actions are self-defense against the threats posed to us and from an even greater disaster than what is happening today.
“No matter how difficult it may be, I ask you to understand this and call for cooperation in order to turn this tragic page as soon as possible and move forward together, not to allow anyone to interfere in our affairs, in our relations, but to build them on our own, so that it creates the necessary conditions for overcoming all problems and, despite the presence of state borders, would strengthen us from the inside as a whole. I believe in this – in this is our future.
“I should also appeal to the military personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine.
“Dear comrades! Your fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazis, defended our common Motherland, so that today’s neo-Nazis seized power in Ukraine. You took an oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people, and not to the anti-people junta that plunders Ukraine and mocks these same people.”
The statement ends with: “Once again, I strongly emphasize that all responsibility for possible bloodshed will be entirely on the conscience of the regime ruling on the territory of Ukraine”, followed by a “to be continued”.
The lengthy statement can be read on the Kremlin website here.