Vladimir Putin accuses Hillary Clinton of encouraging Russian protests
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accuses the United States of stirring up protests against his 12-year rule and says foreign countries are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence Russian elections.
(Reuters) Moscow - In his first public remarks about daily demonstrations over allegations that Sunday's election was slanted to favor his ruling party, Putin said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had encouraged Kremlin opponents by criticizing the vote.
"She set the tone for some opposition activists, gave them a signal, they heard this signal and started active work," Putin told supporters as he laid out plans for his campaign to return to the presidency in a March election.
Citing the examples of Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution and the removal of governments in Kyrgyzstan -- also a fellow former Soviet republic -- that were accompanied by bloodshed, he said Western nations were spending heavily to foment political change in Russia.