While maintaining that he had no hand to manipulating the national elections in Russia himself, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has identified one nefarious agent that muddled with the alleged rigged results, and instigated the subsequent protests -- the United States. And Putin found no American more to blame for the unrest in Russia than U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "She set the tone for some opposition activists, gave them a signal, they heard this signal and started active work," Putin said in his first remarks on the anti-government protests that have erupted in Russia over Sunday's maybe-rigged election, according to Al-Jazeera. In the televised speech to members of his United Russia party, which barely held on to power after Sunday's elections, Putin pointed the finger at U.S. State Department for unfairly influencing the Russian elections, as the AP tells it:
He accused the U.S. State Department of spending “hundreds of millions” of dollars in Russia and his government has to “work out ways to protect our sovereignty from outside interference.”
“We are the largest nuclear power,” Putin said, addressing supporters during a televised meeting. “And our partners have certain concerns and shake us so that we don’t forget who is the master of this planet, so that we remain obedient and feel that they have leverage to influence us within our own country.”
He said “especially unacceptable is the infusion of foreign money into the electoral process.”
This is the second time in nearly as many weeks that Russia's not-so-subtly reminded the United States that it has nukes. Putin's targeting of Clinton in particular comes after her remarks that “Russian voters deserve a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation" following Sunday's vote. Meanwhile, activists are still planning a major protest Saturday with roughly 29,000 committed to going on Facebook.