Russian President Vladimir Putin called the protests in the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death a “sign of some deep-seated internal crises.”

In an interview released Sunday by state television network Rossiya 1, Putin highlighted the range of problems within the U.S., including the police killing of Floyd and the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Things connected to the fight with the coronavirus have shone a spotlight on general problems,” Putin said. As Russia is “exiting the coronavirus situation steadily with minimal losses, God willing,” he said, “in the States it isn’t happening that way.”

Russia has reported about 529,000 cases — a quarter the size of the U.S. numbers. The country says only 7,000 have died as a result of the virus, but the number is likely well below their actual death toll.

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Putin criticized President Donald Trump‘s leadership and ability to unite the country in the interview.

“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 said. “The president says we need to do such-and-such but the governor somewhere tells him where to go.”

Putin doubted Russia would have similar problems saying, “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’.”

The Russian leader also weighed in on the Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the country.

“If this fight for natural rights, legal rights, turns into mayhem and rioting, I see nothing good for the country,” he said, referencing the looting and riots that have occurred alongside some protests.


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