Tags: EU | Russia | Putin

Putin Accuses US of Supporting Separatists in Russia

Sunday, 26 April 2015 10:00 AM

Intercepted calls showed that United States helped separatists in Russia's North Caucasus in the 2000s, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in a new documentary in which he underscored his suspicions of the West.

The two hour-long documentary, to be aired on the state-owned Rossiya-1 TV channel later on Sunday, is dedicated to Putin's 15 years in office. It focused on Putin's achievements as well as challenges to his rule — which the producers and Putin blame on Western interference.

Putin was elected Russian president on March 26, 2000, after spending three months as acting president, and was sworn in on May 7, 2000.

The documentary showed Putin interviewed at the Kremlin in the dimly-lit St. Alexander's Hall. In excerpts released shortly before the film's broadcast, Putin said Russian intelligence agencies had intercepted calls between the separatists and the U.S. intelligence based in Azerbaijan during the early 2000s, proving that Washington was helping the insurgents.

He did not specify when the calls took place.

Following a disastrous war in the 1990s, Russia fought Islamic insurgents in Chechnya and neighboring regions in the volatile North Caucasus.

"They were actually helping them, even with transportation," Putin said.

Putin said he raised the issue with then-U.S. President George W. Bush, who promised Putin to "kick the ass" of the intelligence officers in question. But in the end, Putin said the Russian intelligence agency FSB received a letter from their "American counterparts" who asserted their right to "support all opposition forces in Russia," including the Islamic separatists in the Caucasus.

Putin also expressed his fears that the West wishes Russia harm as he recalled how some world leaders told him they would not mind Russia's possible disintegration.

"My counterparts, a lot of presidents and prime minister told me later on that they had decided for themselves by then that Russia would cease to exist in its current form," he said, referring to the time period around the second conflict in the Caucasus. "The only question was when it happens and what consequences would be."

The latest poll by the independent Levada agency showed that the approval rating for Putin, whose third term in office ends in 2018, was a whopping 86 percent in April.

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Intercepted calls showed that United States helped separatists in Russia's North Caucasus in the 2000s, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed in a new documentary in which he underscored his suspicions of the West.The two hour-long documentary, to be aired on the...
EU, Russia, Putin
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2015-00-26
Sunday, 26 April 2015 10:00 AM
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