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Putin rues Soviet collapse as demise of ‘historical Russia’ -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kyriakos Mitchell, Prime Minister of Greece speak during joint press conference following their meeting at Bocharov Ruchei State Residence in Sochi (Russia) December 8, 2021. Sputnik/Evgeny Odinokov/Krem

Andrew Osborn, Andrey Ostroukh

MOSCOW, (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin rued the collapse of Soviet Union 30 years ago and called it the death of his “historical Russia”. The economic crisis that followed left him unable to drive a taxi.

Putin’s Sunday comments were made public by state TV. They are expected to fuel speculation among his critics about his intentions regarding foreign policy. He is accused of plotting to create the Soviet Union again and even contemplating attacking Ukraine. The Kremlin dismisses this accusation as fear-mongering.

Putin stated that the 1991 disintegration was “a disintegration in historical Russia” under the Soviet Union name. His comments were broadcast on Sunday, as part of documentary “Russia”. According to the RIA state media agency, “New History” was reported.

Putin described also for the first-time how the difficult economic times following the Soviet collapse and Russia’s double-digit inflation were for him personally.

“Sometimes I had to moonlight as a driver for a taxi. Although it is difficult to discuss this, the president stated that this did happen.

Putin was an officer in the Soviet-era KGB and previously called the fall of the Soviet Union which was controlled from Moscow the “greatest geopolitical disaster” of 20th century. However, his latest comments reveal that he views it as a setback to Russian power.

Putin wrote an article that spanned more than 5,000 words, published this year on the Kremlin site. He explained why Russia’s South-West neighbour was an important part of Russian history. Kyiv dismisses the view, claiming it is politically motivated and simplifies history.

Russia has been accused by the West of having massed tens of thousand of troops in Ukraine to prepare for an attack. The Group of Seven rich democracies set out to warn Moscow Sunday of severe consequences and high costs should it strike Ukraine.

Moscow has denied plans to launch another attack against Ukraine, and the Kremlin stated that it believes the West has convinced itself of Moscow’s aggressive intentions by citing false Western media accounts.

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea Region in 2014, and supported separatists who seized control of large swathes of eastern Ukraine that year. These rebels continue fighting Ukrainian government forces.

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