"THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN EAST CLARE", SAYS PUTIN
Following worldwide condemnation of his actions, Putin sought to clear up the mess by telling reporters that the troops were "lost". World leaders refused to believe this but eventually came round when Putin explained exactly where his soldiers were supposed to be.
"Many accusations have been placed at the Kremlin's doorstep including seeking war with the Ukraine. This is simply not true. This was a complete accident. These troops were supposed to travel to East Clare but they mis-heard me and travelled to East Ukraine instead. It is an easy mistake."
Putin went on to explain exactly why these troops were there saying that he has been learning the concertina for the last few months and has had difficulty locating a suitable teacher. The only tunes he knows are 'The Maid Behind the Gun Barrel' and 'Mama Russia's Pet'.
"It is true. I have been teaching myself concertina. I became enraptured by the Irish music after witnessing Riverdance and I've been hooked ever since. I need a concertina teacher so I sent the troops to East Clare to search for the one they call 'Hill'."
Various worldleaders have balked at this news, saying that Putin would never annex the concertina and should have tried something easier to start like the tin whistle. German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the UN and called on Putin to explain himself.
"This is an outrageous turn of events. All this time Putin was working behind the scenes and not once did he invite me over to play tunes with him. I've been teaching myself the uilleann pipes. It has been difficult but I have had help. I purchased two little Irishmen, one to work the bellows and the other to squeeze the bag."
"They get tired sometimes but I shout at them for motivation. I say to the man squeezing the bag, 'SQUEEZE IT! SQUEEZE IT LIKE MY GOVERNMENT SQUEEZES EVERY LAST DROP OUT YOUR ECONOMY'. Then he gets the message."
Putin refused to be drawn on whether he would extend an invitation to the UN and was only heard to mutter under his breath something about Obama being a crap fiddle player and said "He thinks he's Frankie Gavin or something."