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  • The anti-racism protests have also devolved into riots and violent confrontations between police and protesters. 

    The anti-racism protests have also devolved into riots and violent confrontations between police and protesters.  | Photo: AFP

Published 14 June 2020
Opinion

The Russian president said he supports U.S. black people’s struggle for equality, calling this "a long-standing problem of the United States."

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Sunday the violence and mayhem during the anti-racism protests in the United States.

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Protests Break Out in Atlanta After Killing of Rayshard Brooks

"If this fight for natural rights, legal rights, turns into mayhem and rioting, I see nothing good for the country," Putin said in an interview with Rossiya-1 television, adding that in his country they “have never supported this.”

The Russian president said he supports U.S. black people’s struggle for equality, calling this "a long-standing problem of the United States." But added that "when - even after crimes are committed - this takes on elements of radical nationalism and extremism, nothing good will come of this."

On this matter, Putin referred to the protests as a sign of "deep-seated internal crises,” linking the unrest to the coronavirus pandemic, which he said Russia handled better than the United States.

This comes in the latest mass protests as hundreds of people took to the streets Saturday night in Atlanta against the death on Friday of a black man shot by a police officer.

Rayshard Brooks, 27, was killed by a local police officer when he was arrested for falling asleep inside his vehicle in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.

Brooks' murder comes shortly after the death of another black man, George Floyd, who was also killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, an event that has sparked mass protests across the country.

The anti-racism protests have also devolved in riots and violent confrontations between police and protesters. 

Asked about reactions to the U.S. protests, including demonstrations in Europe and statues being pulled down, Putin said that "this is undoubtedly a destructive phenomenon."

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