We also know we can't trust a word Vladimir Putin says
MOSCOW (ABC News) – Vladimir Putin has been accused of a lot of things recently. He’s been called a conquistador and an aspiring tsar.
Today, the Russian president said none of that is true. “This opinion is wrong. I think it’s not something that corresponds with the truth but a tool of the information war,” Putin said when asked if he wants to revive the Soviet empire.
“People are trying to label us as such, that we’re trying to restore the empire, the Soviet Union, to bring everybody under our influence. But this is totally inaccurate,” he told reporters in St Petersburg.
Putin said he did not believe the Cold War was returning. “No one needs it, and I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he said, according to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
But while Putin has for weeks dismissed Western accusations that Russia’s annexation of Crimea was a planned land grab, something he again denied today, his explanation for doing so betrayed political motives.
“We believe that there was an attempt to speak to us in a language of force, and so we made a proportional response,” he said, describing a reaction to February’s ouster of the pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovich in favor of a pro-European government.