Putin's comments in a television interview, his most extensive to date on Russia's decision to send troops into Georgia earlier this month, sought to present the military operation as a response to brazen, Cold War-style provocations by the US.
In tones that seemed alternately angry and mischievous, Putin suggested the Bush administration may have tried to create a crisis that would influence American voters in the choice of a successor to President George W Bush.
"The suspicion would arise that someone in the
Putin did not specify which candidate he had in mind, but there was no doubt that he was referring to Republican Senator John McCain.
McCain is loathed in the Kremlin because he has a close relationship with
Putin offered scant evidence to support his assertion, and the White House called his comments absurd.
But they underscored the depth of the rift between
They also suggested that the Russian leader was deeply concerned about the possibility McCain, widely viewed here as having a strong bias against
Putin's interview came after his protege, President Dmitri Medvedev, had spoken to several foreign news media outlets this week as part of a concerted move by the Kremlin to counter
Medvedev's tone was less harsh, though he also criticised the West.
On Thursday, Putin also said Russian defence officials believed
"Even during the Cold War, during the time of tough confrontation between the Soviet Union and the
"We have serious reasons to believe that directly, in the combat zone, citizens of the
"If the facts are confirmed," he added, "that
Well you know he may be Right!
Cheney does Love War and the profits from it now doesn't he? Anything to take the Focus off Iraq. And what better way to frighten the American people into thinking they need another war president to defend them from yet another evil country? So how do you arrange another war and orchestrate the need for one? Cheney and company know how to do that all to well it seems.
Now where are those weapons of mass destruction Iraq had? Well they never had any at all and of course they were never found . So to start a war you lie and coerce of course. Feed the country loads of propaganda. Fear monger.
Why was Cheney’s top guy in
James Gerstenzang, Countdown to Crawford –
What was a top national security aide to Vice President Dick Cheney doing in
Not, according to the vice president's office, what you might think – if your thinking takes you into the realm of Cheney giving his blessing to the Georgian's military operation.
To be sure, Cheney has been a leader of the hardliners in the administration when it comes to standing up to Russia – to the point that the man who ran the Pentagon as the Cold War came to an end during the administration of the first President Bush has been seen as ready to renew that face-off with Moscow.
It was Cheney who visited the Georgian embassy in
And yes, Joseph R. Wood, Cheney's deputy assistant for national security affairs, was in
But, the vice president's office says, he was there as part of a team setting up the vice president's just-announced visit to
The White House disclosed on Monday that Cheney would hurry over to
And so it was that a team from the vice president's office,
It had nothing to do, the vice president's office said, with a military operation that some have said suggests a renewal of the Cold War.
shortly before the war began.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney will travel to
Vice President Dick Cheney signs a condolence book last week at the Georgian Embassy in
Cheney, who will depart on September 2, will meet with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose country was invaded by Russian forces this month after a Georgian crackdown on separatists in the breakaway region of
"The president felt it was important to have the vice president consult with allies in the region on our common security interests," White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said.
Cheney will "reiterate
A senior administration official said Cheney's trip had been planned before the Russia-Georgia conflict.
Last week, President Bush telephoned Saakashvili and told him he expects Russia to withdraw its forces from the former Soviet republic and end "their siege of
Cheney also will visit the leaders of