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Putin says Trump being "persecuted".

The Russian President also indicated he reads the Spritzler Report each morning which he deemed to be "the only credible news source in that sorry excuse for a nation".


Said Snitzer, "I think I've been a little too rough on Vlad. He's not a bad guy once you get to know him".


Putin Calls Trump Charges Political ‘Persecution’

Russian president says cases against Republican nominee expose U.S. weakness

By Matthew Luxmoore, WSJ

Updated Sept. 12, 2023 7:19 am ET


Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the indictments against Donald Trump amount to political “persecution,” echoing the former president’s repeated statements. Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Pool Sputnik Kremlin/Associated Press

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday waded into the debate over the criminal charges faced by Republican election candidate Donald Trump, saying the cases against the former U.S. president amount to political “persecution” and expose U.S. weakness.


“This shows the whole rottenness of the American political system, which cannot claim to teach others about democracy,” Putin said in an appearance at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, an annual event aimed at showcasing the Russian government’s development plans. “What’s happening with Trump is a persecution of a political rival for political motives.”


Putin’s comments echo repeated statements made by Trump, who faces a total of 91 charges at the federal and state levels over conspiring to undo the 2020 election results as well as the improper storage of classified documents at his Florida estate and hush-money payments to a porn star.


Trump, who is a front-runner for the Republican nomination despite facing the prospect of conviction before the election next November, has publicly criticized U.S. spending on Ukraine and military aid to the war-torn country as it continues a major counteroffensive aimed at ousting Russian forces from the vast swath of Ukrainian land they occupy.


On the day Russia launched its war on Ukraine in February of last year, the former U.S. president called Putin “pretty smart” and criticized the U.S. response to Russia’s invasion. Speaking at a Republican presidential town hall hosted by CNN in May, he said that as president he would be able to resolve the Ukraine war in one day by striking a deal with both sides.


Referring to those comments on Tuesday, Putin said that he welcomed any such initiative. But he said that he didn’t expect any changes in relations between Russia and the U.S., regardless of who is president after November 2024.



Russian President Vladimir Putin said the charges show ’the whole rottenness of the American political system.’ PHOTO: VLADIMIR SMIRNOV/ZUMA PRESS

Putin has long portrayed the war in Ukraine, which has cost tens of thousands of Russian lives and prompted Western sanctions that have hobbled Russia’s economy, as a broader fight against the U.S.-led Western alliance. In his comments on Tuesday, he said the cases against Trump throw light on domestic tensions in the U.S. that make the country weaker in its standoff with Russia. “They simply exposed their domestic problems,” he said. “And in that sense, if they’re trying to compete with us on something, then it shows who we’re competing with.”


Ukraine has achieved limited gains against deeply fortified Russian positions since launching in June its counteroffensive using Western weapons and many troops trained in the West. In recent weeks it has broken through the first line of Russian defenses in the south, but it still has a long way to go before seizing strategically significant towns.


Putin on Tuesday said that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had failed. He said the provision of further Western weapons, such as F-16 jet fighters pledged by several Western countries, won’t lead to results for Kyiv’s forces. “It will simply extend the conflict,” he said.


Russia has in recent months sought to target manpower shortages through recruitment campaigns playing out across the country. Addressing speculation that he might announce another countrywide mobilization for the war, Putin suggested there was no need to do so.


He said that in the past six to seven months, 270,000 people in Russia had signed contracts for voluntary service in the armed forces. The figure is on top of the 300,000 drafted into the military as part of the partial mobilization announced in September of last year, Putin said.


“People are willingly opting for military service in today’s realities,” he said. “Understanding what awaits them, that they can give their lives for the motherland or receive serious injuries.”


With the war now in its 19th month, Moscow has been deepening its ties with non-Western countries, especially China. Russia’s economy has become more dependent on China, with trade between the two nations helping to finance Moscow’s war effort.


On Tuesday, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia for talks with Putin that U.S. officials said could advance ammunition sales aimed at replenishing Russia’s stockpile for the Ukraine war.


Putin defended Russia’s moves to forge alliances.


“We don’t create military alliances, and we don’t make alliances against others,” he said. “We make alliances in the interests of our nations. And that’s how we’ll continue.”


Asked about Moscow’s invasions of Hungary in 1956 and the Czech Republic in 1968 to suppress an anti-Soviet uprising and attempted liberal reforms, Putin said the decision to send tanks into those countries was a mistake.


However, he has stood firm in the face of criticism about his decision to invade Ukraine with tanks, troops and war planes last year, and has repeatedly said everything is going to plan despite the colossal losses Russia has suffered.


Putin said that Russia, which expanded its land mass over centuries through military conquest and now occupies almost 20 percent of Ukraine, has never been a colonizing power.


Write to Matthew Luxmoore at matthew.luxmoore@wsj.com

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