Putin Blames Protests on ... Hillary Clinton

He accuses US State Department of being behind the demonstrations

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 8, 2011 7:10 AM CST | Updated Dec 8, 2011 7:59 AM CST

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton is the secret mastermind behind the post-election protests roiling through Moscow and St. Petersburg, Vladimir Putin alleged today, in his first public comments on the unrest. "She sent a signal to some activists in the country," Putin told supporters, according to the Telegraph. "They got the message and started active work with the support of the US State Department." The accusation came after Clinton criticized Russia's election as neither free nor fair.

"She had not even received material from the election monitors at that stage," Putin complained. He went on to warn that protests wouldn't be allowed to escalate beyond "the framework of the law" because "nobody wants chaos." But expect chaos this weekend: Tens of thousands have said online that they'll attend a protest on Saturday, far exceeding the 300-person cap the Kremlin has set. The protests have already seen 1,000 arrested, and Russia is cracking down on dissent in other ways, too; its top social networking site says it has been pressured to take down opposition pages.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Popular Front in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Popular Front in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)
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