In excerpts of an interview with state-owned Rossiya 1 television posted Sunday, Putin linked the unrest prompted by the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, to Washington’s coronavirus response — which he compared unfavorably to Moscow’s.
“Things connected to the fight with the coronavirus have shone a spotlight on general problems,” he said, according to AFP. While Russia is “exiting the coronavirus situation steadily with minimal losses, God willing,” Putin added, “in the States it isn’t happening that way.”
Around 529,000 coronavirus registered cases are reported in Russia. he third highest in the world and around the quarter of the size of the U.S. outbreak. Also 7,000 deaths are recorded from Covid-19 but there are suspicions that this is a gross underestimate.
“I think the problem is that group interests, party interests are put higher than the interests of the whole of society and the interests of the people [in the U.S.],” Putin added.
“The president says we need to do such-and-such but the governor somewhere tells him where to go,” he said. By contrast, in Russia, Putin continued, “I doubt anyone in the government or the regions would say ‘we’re not going to do what the government says, what the president says, we think it’s wrong’.”
Putin while talking about the violent turn of some of the U.S. protests, he said “If this fight for natural rights, legal rights, turns into mayhem and rioting, I see nothing good for the country”.