Putin told stone about his father, his youth and desire to work in the KGB
NEW YORK, June 13. /TASS/. A story about herself and her family began the President of Russia Vladimir Putin interview to American Director Oliver stone in the movie “Interview with Putin” (The Moscow Interviews). The premiere of this four-part documentary began on Monday night on the cable channel Showtime.
Remembering about his parents, in particular, about his father, who worked as a mechanic at the plant, Mr Putin said that he “started the war in special forces, and then he was sent to war in the army one of the most dangerous sections of the Leningrad front”.
“I was a late child, he continued. They lost two children, one of them during the war, during the siege of Leningrad”.
Speaking about the years of his youth, Putin has noticed that “there were, a lot of time spent on the street, in the yard”. “Ever since I started judo, it was to change life for the better,’ he continued. — I graduated from high school in Leningrad and immediately was admitted to Leningrad University’s law faculty”.
Addressing the matter of applying for a job in the KGB, the head of state reminded that in the Soviet higher schools there was a system of distribution. “When I graduated from high school, you had to go to work where you will be sent, — said the President. And I was assigned there to work. And I wanted to work there. Moreover, I entered the law faculty because I wanted to work in the KGB.”
The USSR needed to change
The Soviet Union was in need of change, but leadership of the country at that time had no idea how to act, Putin said.
“It was clear for Gorbachev, and for those who surrounded him that the country needs change — said the President of Russia, answering a question about how he remembered the period of perestroika. But today I can confidently say that they did not understand what changes are needed and how to achieve them”.
“It is not the ideas of Gorbachev’s ideas of the French utopian socialists, Gorbachev has nothing to do with it,’ he continued. — I repeat that to his credit that he felt the need of change and tried to change the system itself — the problem was that it itself was worthless. As been done to change the situation in the country, to change the system, but save the country? That no one, including Gorbachev, didn’t know it led to the disintegration of the country.”
As a result, was completely destroyed by the social security system completely shut down entire sectors of the economy, reminded Vladimir Putin. “Virtually destroyed the health care system, in poor as was the army. And millions, millions of people were below the poverty line”, he added.
“I often heard criticism about the fact that you regret about the collapse of the Soviet Union, — said the head of state. — First and most important thing is that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, 25 million Russian people in one night turned out to be abroad, and it is really one of the biggest disasters of the XX century. Because while the people lived in a single country, they had family ties, a job, an apartment, they were all in equal rights. One second they were abroad and in the country there is first signs, and then full-scale civil war”.
Assessment of Gorbachev and Yeltsin
Putin does not consider it possible to evaluate the activities of the President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev and his predecessor, the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin.
“I am not authorised to give any serious assessment of the activities of neither Gorbachev, nor Yeltsin, said Vladimir Putin. — Yeltsin, as each of us had our problems, but it had its own strengths. One of these strengths was the fact that he never shied away from personal responsibility, he was able to take this responsibility”.
To take responsibility for Russia
According to Putin, he immediately agreed to the proposal Boris Yeltsin to take the post of Prime Minister in 1999, and this decision has given him is not easy, including because of concern for children.
“When I arrived from Leningrad to Moscow, I here was not some special support, some very powerful links and I don’t know why Yeltsin chose me, he said. But when Yeltsin offered it to me for the first time, I refused. It’s right in my office invited me, said that he would like to appoint me as Prime Minister and wish I were running for President. I said that is a very big responsibility, it can change my whole life and I’m not sure I’m ready for it”.
On a question by Oliver stone about what has changed in my life, Vladimir Putin replied: “it is One thing to be an officer, even of high rank, and another to live the life of an almost ordinary person, to visit, cinema, theatre free, chat with friends and not carry a personal responsibility for what is happening in the country, for the fate of millions of people.”
To take responsibility for Russia in that situation is a very difficult job. And, frankly, I didn’t know what the final plans for me for President Yeltsin, and I did not know how long I can do it, because any second can come and say: free. And I thought only one thing — somewhere to hide children.
“Is that so?” — asked stone.
“Of course, what do you think? — was the answer. — Imagine that I’d be released from his position — no protection, nothing, and what to do? How to live and how to ensure the safety of the family? I just for myself, then decided that if fate so ordered, then you need to go to the end, and then I still didn’t know 100% that I’m President, no guarantees for this reason nobody gave”.
An Interview With Oliver Stone
As said before the premiere, the press service of the Showtime Oliver stone spent more than a dozen interviews with the President of Russia, the last time in February of this year, and no subject was taboo.
In the course of these talks the Russian President laid out his assessment of the current state of Russian-American relations, raised the issue of accusations against Russia of meddling in the electoral campaign in the United States, has assessed the actions of NATO in Europe and the deployment of the us missile defense system, highlighted the situation in Syria and Ukraine, told about the relationship with presidents George Bush, Barack Obama, Donald trump and former Secretary of state Hillary Clinton, delivered an opinion in the case of a former employee of the national security Agency USA Edward Snowden sought asylum in Russia.
In addition, he answered questions about domestic policy, in particular, on his journey to the presidency of Russia and the timing of the tenure, without flinching from the sharp questions.