Vladimir Putin has given a combative first television interview since his return to the Kremlin, rebuking Britain and the United States for double standards and denying involvement in the Pussy Riot trial.

In wide-ranging remarks, the president rejected accusations of autocratic rule and charged the West with hypocrisy over the war in Syria, the treatment of Julian Assange and a proposed travel ban for Russian human rights abusers.
His interview yesterday signalled a growing assurance in Mr Putin since he reclaimed the presidency in May, when street protests shook his rule and he cried with relief at a victory rally.
It came a day after he revived his practise of muscular publicity stunts, flying a motorised hang glider to guide a group of captive-reared Siberian cranes from the Arctic toward their southern migrating grounds.
Fielding softball questions from the Kremlin-controlled RT channel, Mr Putin was robust in denying any sign of backsliding on democracy.
He said that what critics perceived as a recent crackdown on Russia’s opposition was a prophylactic measure to prevent riots such as those seen in London last summer.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.