Vladimir Putin seems to have watched the U.S. Capitol insurrection with some fondness. During an economic forum in St. Petersburg on Friday, the Russian president said the people who violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop Congress from certifying Donald Trump’s loss were people justifiably angry with the election results. “They came with political demands,” he told a moderator during a Q&A session. The comments came during a discussion regarding relations between the U.S. and Russia, with Putin brushing off any blame in Russia’s culpability for those who didn’t trust the election result. U.S. intelligence reports confirmed Russia’s interference in the 2020 elections, including disinformation efforts directed by Putin himself against the Biden campaign. His remarks came three days after his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, claimed the U.S. was violating the human rights of those who attacked Congress, saying they faced “persecution.” It’s also in advance of the first meeting between Putin and President Joe Biden on June 16, with the latter planning to bring up the Russian president’s own numerous human-rights abuses.
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