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Putin rues Soviet collapse, says he moonlit as a taxi driver to survive economic crisis

Putin’s comments, released by state TV on Sunday, are likely to further fuel speculation about his foreign policy intentions among critics, who accuse him of planning to recreate the Soviet Union and of contemplating an attack on Ukraine, a notion the Kremlin has dismissed as fear-mongering.

“It was a disintegration of historical Russia under the name of the Soviet Union,” Putin said of the 1991 breakup, in comments aired on Sunday as part of a documentary film called “Russia. New History,” the RIA state news agency reported.

“We turned into a completely different country. And what had been built up over 1,000 years was largely lost,” said Putin, saying 25 million Russian people in newly independent countries suddenly found themselves cut off from Russia, part of what he called “a major humanitarian tragedy.”

Putin also described for the first time how he was affected personally by the…

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