Hillary Clinton followed in Madeleine Albright's footsteps to become secretary of state
Hillary Clinton followed in Madeleine Albright's footsteps to become secretary of state AFP / SAUL LOEB


  • Clinton claimed Putin was unhappy with her when she criticized the 2011 Russian elections for being rigged
  • Putin previously blamed Clinton for allegedly sparking protests in Moscow over the 2011 elections
  • Clinton also claimed Putin interfered in the 2020 U.S. elections due to the 2011 incident in Moscow

Hillary Clinton, who served as America's top diplomat under the Obama administration, said Russian President Vladimir Putin became "extremely unhappy" with her after she promoted democracy for the Russian people in 2011.

In a wide-ranging interview at the FT Weekend Festival, Clinton said Putin had become unhappy with her when she issued a statement sharply criticizing the 2011 Russian elections for being rigged.

"He was extremely unhappy with me on several occasions but the most dramatic was in the fall of 2011. They had elections—Duma elections and local elections— all of which were rigged. They were rigged in such a blatant way that it was a message to the Russian people. You had videos of people throwing away ballots," she said during the interview Sunday.

"As secretary of state, I made a statement in favor of Democracy. I said the Russian people deserved to be able to elect their own leaders. They deserve free and fair elections and that's not what we've seen in Russia," Clinton added.

Prior to her statement, tens of thousands of Russians had already poured onto the streets in Moscow to protest the election, with some claiming Putin was a "thief." The Russian leader, however, blamed Clinton for the protests, adding that she gave "a signal" to demonstrators to undermine his authority.

"I looked at the first reaction of our U.S. partners. The first thing that the secretary of state did was say that they were not honest and not fair, but she had not even yet received the material from the observers," Putin said. "She set the tone for some actors in our country and gave them a signal. They heard the signal and with the support of the U.S. State Department began active work."

During the interview, Clinton claimed that the 2011 incident in Russia led Putin to interfere in the 2016 presidential elections in the United States where the Russian leader found what she called a "willing partner" in former President Donald Trump.

Clinton has made several comments about Putin over the past years. During the interview, she called the Russian leader a "complicated, messianic narcissist." In June last year, Clinton said Putin had been "very sexist" toward her in several private interactions, adding that he would "manspread for effect."

Putin’s comments came as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said any foreign intervention could just fuel further violence. REUTERS