This blunt, honest answer from Russian President also deciphers and settles the meaning and the initial avowal of "respect" for the referendum, against which Putin himself advised after meeting with Swiss President and Chair of the OSCE.
US strategy toward Russia at this moment can be summed up as follows: "If our enemy continues making mistakes, don't interrupt him. But anyone who tries to do so, needs to be ostracized, attacked and declared both our and Russia's enemy."
Thus the American Interest wrote in an article: "The U.S. would be well-advised to resist the impulse to rashly respond to Russia’s intervention in Syria. For one thing, one should “never interrupt your enemy when he’s making a mistake”, as Napoleon put it. If we’re lucky, Russian forces in Syria will meet a similar fate as the Soviets in Afghanistan." The article also made one-sentence reference to "Russian nationalists," which prompted Andrey Korybko employed by Sputnik to send a circular FB post advising "everyone" that "Russian nationalists" critical of Minsk and Putin need to be considered as US agents, employed as such together with "Russian liberals."
By the way, the liberal, 5th column Echo Moskvy is financed by the Russian government via Gazprom, a state gas monopoly. Gazprom-Media Holding controls at present 66% of the shares of Echo Moskvy. Similarly with other liberals--whether inside Putin's or Medevedev's government or outside--their support comes mainly from the Russian state and Russian oligarchs. The West finances its own share, but a smaller one.
Putin at Valdai: "I was the first who supported Poroshenko and I will further continue to support him." http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2840136
Putin (many times on various occasions): "There is no alternative to Minsk."