Faced with strong domestic condemnation of recent election results, Vladimir Putin has decided to blame the US for the whole mess. Speaking to supporters, Putin claimed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a ‘signal’ to opposition figures in Russia.
The claim follows a growing trend that has seen Russia claim in recent months that the US has been behind a number of the year’s biggest uprisings, including events in Egypt, Libya and Bahrain. Whether or not the Russian government truly believes this version of events is not clear, but it’s the narrative they seem to be spinning.
It seems that Putin is determined to power ahead and ignore criticism of the recent vote. He is widely expected to stroll to a comfortable election victory in March, although recent demonstrations indicate that there remains a vocal strain of dissent in Russian society.