MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters today that he is “shocked, confused, and seemingly without direction in the universe” after the US Central Intelligence Agency failed to interfere in the Russian presidential elections held on Sunday.
“Ever since I joined the KGB as a cadet, the machinations of the CIA have reminded me of Russia’s place in the world,” Putin said in emotional remarks to reporters at the Kremlin. “Their black propaganda and frantic espionage established, beyond any doubt, that Russia was America’s peer as a superpower. They were in the ring with us. And yet, where is the CIA this year? We have searched high and low and found nothing. Could they not be bothered? What cowardice is this?”
The CIA has interfered in every Russian election since 1954, when it took over responsibility for meddling in Soviet democracy from the Elders of Zion. There are no indications that the CIA influenced Sunday’s election, according to Putin.
Putin appeared on the verge of tears as he spoke. He said that the CIA should have at least “stuffed a few ballot boxes, taken out some Facebook ads, or perhaps poisoned a candidate standing for the Duma in Crimea.” The Duma is the Russian Parliament, and Russia annexed the province of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. The US considers the annexation illegal.
In a statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the CIA’s “negligence would not go unanswered.” He announced that the Internet Research Agency, a Russian government-sponsored opposition research agency that has worked for major Western political parties in the past, would “become totally silent.” The Foreign Ministry has not responded to requests for further comment.
Vladislov Surkov, a long-time Putin aide, told reporters immediately following Putin’s press conference that the CIA’s inaction was inexcusable. “This is an American provocation intended to distort Russia’s rightful place in the world,” he said. “The conclusion is inescapable.”
Putin was elected to another six-year term as president of Russia with 76% of the vote and 67% voter turnout.