Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Putin says WikiLeaks not 'a catastrophe'; but Kremlin leaders are terrified

In an interview with CNN's Larry King on Tuesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir played down the significance of the recent WikiLeaks disclosures of US diplomatic cables:

"It's necessary for the diplomatic services to be more attentive to their cables," said Putin. "Such leaks occurred before in previous times. So I don't see this as being a catastrophe."

However, Mr. Putin's cool reaction to the leaking of US diplomatic cables, belies his own [and his government's] concerns about the Wikileaks' website:
The National Security Agency, the U.S. government’s eavesdropping agency, has already picked up tell-tale electronic evidence that WikiLeaks is under close surveillance by the Russian FSB, that country’s domestic spy network, out of fear in Moscow that WikiLeaks is prepared to release damaging personal information about Kremlin leaders.

“We may not have been able to stop WikiLeaks so far, and it’s been frustrating,” a U.S. law-enforcement official said. “The Russians play by different rules.” He said that if WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, follow through on threats to post highly embarrassing information about the Russian government and what is assumed to be massive corruption among its leaders, “the Russians will be ruthless in stopping WikiLeaks.”
Sure sounds like a catastrophe to me. Or perhaps it is only a catastrophe when the leaked information pertains to Putin's corrupt affairs.

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