Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin blamed the United States Thursday for encouraging opposition protests that have broken out since parliamentary elections Sunday.
His accusation followed comments by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week on Russia's election in which she called for a "full investigation" of apparent irregularities.
The United States had "serious concerns about the conduct of the election," she said, at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe Tuesday.
Speaking on state TV, Putin said Clinton had criticized the elections as "neither fair not free - even before receiving reports from international observers."
This had sent a signal to opposition figures, Putin said, who "with the support of the U.S. State Department" then began "active work."FULL STORY