Putin on Georgia: We Had No Choice

Russian PM warns against Europe 'arms race'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 12, 2008 8:18 AM CDT
A Russian soldier stands at a checkpoint at the village of Karaleti, northwest of Gori, Georgia, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin stridently defended Russia’s invasion of Georgia yesterday, saying to do otherwise would be like his country “getting a bloody nose and hanging its head down,” the Independent reports. “They attacked South Ossetia with missiles, tanks, heavy artillery, and ground troops. What were we supposed to do?” he asked reporters in an extensive conference. “We punched the aggressor in the face, as all the military textbooks prescribe.”

The Russian prime minister called on the Czech Republic and Poland to refuse to host US missiles. “Our targeting of these countries will happen as soon as these missiles are brought. Please do not instigate an arms race in Europe,” he said. He slammed Dick Cheney and the US, saying “there is no more Soviet threat but they are trying to resurrect it.”