Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin shot back at the United States after WikiLeaks documents showed defense secretary Robert Gates called his government “an oligarchy run by the security services.” Another cable said “Russian democracy had disappeared” and yet another implied that President Dmitri Medvedev is “playing Robin to Putin’s Batman.” Putin told Larry King that the latter comment “aimed to slander one of us.” As the New York Times points out, Putin likely chose Larry King Live to offer the response because King is known for avoiding tough questions. For example, he did not ask about the limits Russia places on free speech. Mr. Putin also warned America that his country would deploy new nuclear weapons if the U.S. did not accept its proposals to integrate Russian and European missile defense forces, echoing a speech made by Medvedev earlier in the week. Mr. Putin also asked Americans to stop interfering in Russia’s internal affairs.
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