Vladimir Putin has “an almost messianic confidence in himself”, says Hillary Clinton | Vladimir Poutine
Vladimir Putin has an “almost messianic belief in himself” and dislikes criticism, especially if it comes from women, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.
Clinton recalled that she “had some positive developments” working closely with Putin between 2009 and 2013 when he was Prime Minister of Russia, but the relationship soured when she criticized the election “obviously twisted” that returned him to the presidency in 2012.
Speaking to an audience at the Hay Festival, Clinton said her assertion that Russians “deserve to have their voices heard and their votes counted” and “an election that meets international standards” prompted protests from dozens of thousands of Russians, for which Putin later blamed him. .
The former Democratic presidential hopeful, who lost to Donald Trump in 2016, said: “Putin doesn’t like critics, especially female critics. Putin then became very antagonistic towards me, with a few exceptions. As we know, despite efforts to say otherwise, he worked very hard to get Trump elected through all sorts of means.
Clinton said she witnessed “his almost messianic belief in himself and what he was meant to be” as well as his “goal to restore Imperial Russia” while working with him. This had prompted her to write notes warning her that he would become a “threat to Europe and the rest of the world”, although she had hoped that friendly relations with the United States would “put him aside its aggressive ambitions and seek to be more cooperative”.
She said: “When he invaded Ukraine, unfortunately I wasn’t surprised. I was very pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of the government of [Volodymyr] Zelenskiy and Ukraine defended themselves.
She also considered it positive that NATO came together to supply arms to the Ukrainians, which confirmed to her “the need to keep the institutions that we have and to try to make them more effective for the future”. She noted that if Trump had returned to power in 2020, he likely would have pulled the United States out of NATO.
Clinton called for the creation of a tribunal similar to those held after the Balkan wars and the Rwandan genocide to hold Russians accountable for their war crimes, although she acknowledged that it was “always difficult to prosecute a head of state” unless he is deposed. .
His interviewer, Helena Kennedy, who is part of a group of human rights lawyers working to find ways to hold Russia accountable for crimes committed in Ukraine, asked if such a tribunal could open the UK and the United States to scrutiny of their actions in the war in Iraq.
Clinton said:[It] could, but I think it’s less likely than people imagine.