Vladimir Putin has an “almost messianic faith in himself” and dislikes critics, especially if they are women, said former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
She recalled that she had achieved “some positive developments” by working closely with Putin between 2009 and 2013, when he was Russia’s prime minister, but their relationship deteriorated when she criticized the “outright fraudulent” elections, which he was returned to the presidency in 2012.
Speaking to an audience at the Hay festival, Clinton said her claims that Russians “deserve to have their voices heard and their votes counted” and “elections that meet international standards” have sparked protests in Russia and tens of thousands Russians have taken to the streets. Something Putin blames on her.
The former Democratic presidential candidate, who lost to Donald Trump in 2016, said: “Putin does not like critics, especially women critics. Putin has become very hostile to me with few exceptions. As we know, despite efforts to say otherwise, he is working very hard to get Trump elected by all means. ”
Clinton claims to have witnessed “his almost messianic faith in himself and what he was destined to be,” as well as his “goal of rebuilding Imperial Russia” while working with him. This prompted her to issue several warnings that he would become a “threat to Europe and the rest of the world”, although she hoped that friendly relations with the United States would make him “postpone his aggressive ambitions and look more cooperative”. .
“When he invaded Ukraine, unfortunately, I was not surprised. I was very pleasantly surprised at how effectively the government of Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine defended themselves,” Clinton added.
She also said it was positive that NATO had joined forces to supply Ukrainians with weapons, which confirmed to her “the need to preserve the institutions we have and try to make them more effective for the future.” She noted that if Trump were returned to power in 2020, he would probably pull the United States out of NATO.
Clinton called for the establishment of a tribunal similar to the one held after the Balkan Wars and the Rwandan genocide to hold individual Russians accountable for their war crimes, although he acknowledged that “it is always difficult to prosecute a head of state”. if he is not removed from power.
Her interviewer, Helena Kennedy, who is among 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 United Kingdom and the United States to verify their actions in the Iraq war.
Clinton said, “Maybe, but I think it’s less likely than people think.”