MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Sunday described the USA as a rustic gripped by a “deep inside disaster” and attributed it to what he stated was a refusal by opponents of President Trump to just accept his “apparent” 2016 election victory and his legitimacy as chief.
Talking in his first interview for the reason that coronavirus pandemic hit Russia arduous three months in the past and compelled him to take shelter at his country residence, Mr. Putin additionally pointed to the racial tensions which have put cities throughout the USA on edge.
Russia and earlier than that the Soviet Union, he stated, all the time had “a lot of sympathy for the battle of African-People for his or her pure rights.” However, Mr. Putin stated, when protests “flip into mayhem and pogroms, I see nothing good for the nation.”
He described the knocking down of statues as “undoubtedly a damaging phenomenon” and claimed that protests had at occasions been contaminated by “radical nationalism and extremism.”
Whereas insisting that he needed to be “very cautious” in his feedback on occasions in the USA, Mr. Putin has usually been accused of making an attempt to sow American division, and seemed to be utilizing the interview to take action once more, taking a swipe at America’s dealing with of the coronavirus underneath Mr. Trump.
Mr. Putin, too, has come underneath pointed criticism over his response to the pandemic.
Together with his approval scores at their lowest degree since he got here to energy 20 years in the past, he has been wanting to declare victory over the coronavirus in order that well being considerations don’t once more disrupt nationwide military parades, now scheduled for June 24, and a referendum, postponed till July 1, on constitutional modifications that might permit him to remain in workplace till 2036.
Mr. Putin additionally used the interview to take purpose at opponents of Mr. Trump who’ve accused the Kremlin of tilting the 2016 election in his favor, one thing Moscow has repeatedly denied doing. American intelligence businesses, in a joint assessment of suspected Russian meddling within the 2016 vote, concluded in January 2018 that “Vladimir Putin ordered an affect marketing campaign in 2016 aimed on the U.S. presidential election.”
America’s “longstanding” downside with racism, Mr. Putin stated, had aggravated a deep disaster of legitimacy that “we have now been observing for a very long time.” As an alternative of accepting that Mr. Trump “clearly gained in a fully democratic manner,” supporters of Hillary Clinton “got here up with all kinds of fables to solid doubt on his legitimacy,” he stated.
Mr. Putin’s feedback had been broadcast Sunday night on state tv after a weekly tv information digest that gave an image of relentless mayhem on American streets. The host, Dmitri Kiselyov, recommended that the USA right this moment resembles the Soviet Union because it stumbled towards collapse on the finish of 1991.
The concept the USA faces an existential disaster with echoes of the crisis-plagued Soviet empire has grow to be a popular theme in Kremlin-controlled information media shops in latest days, significantly on tv.
“That is their perestroika,” stated Vladimir Solovyov, the host of a Sunday night time speak present, referring to the chaotic technique of reform that Mikhail S. Gorbachev started within the mid-1980s. His aim was to revive the Soviet Union, however it finally led to its destruction.
Contrasting Russia’s response to the pandemic with that of the USA, Mr. Putin stated, “We’re exiting the coronavirus state of affairs steadily, with minimal losses, God keen, however within the States it isn’t occurring like this.”
Russia, with round 9,000 new infections reported each day, is the third-hardest-hit nation after the USA and Brazil. It has repeatedly declared that it has the virus underneath management, regardless of proof that it’s nonetheless spreading quick in some areas and protracted questions on its unusually low official dying toll. Moscow final week started lifting lockdown restrictions that had been among the many most stringent on the earth.
Russia’s dealing with of the coronavirus, he stated, has proved the significance of getting a “single workforce” accountable for the nation as a substitute of a fragmented system, as in the USA. There, he stated, governors are free to inform the president to “get misplaced,” and “partisan pursuits are put above the pursuits of the entire society and the pursuits of the folks.”