The Cold War is back on bitches! First we have ballet dancers acting as double agents. Now, we have allegations from frequently shirtless Russian PM Vladimir Putin that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged this week’s post-election protests in Moscow.
Russians voted on Sunday, with Putin’s party, United Russia, showing a loss of support and facing accusations of fraud. Even former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev has called for a new election. Thousands took to the streets in protest. Shouts of “Putin is a thief” and “Russia without Putin” could be heard.
Secretary Clinton’s comments expressing concern over manipulation of election results were in line with what election monitors had already reported. “And we are supportive of the rights and aspirations of the Russian people to be able to make progress and to realize a better future for themselves, and we hope to see that unfold in the years ahead,” she said.
“She set the tone for some activists in our country and gave them a signal,” Putin responded. He also expressed concern over “interference” from foreign governments. Add to that the breakdown of relations between the two governments over a variety of foreign policy issues and the fears in the Russian government about the influence of the Arab Spring.