Russian President Vladimir Putin, while fielding questions from supporters on Friday, said he is a mean salad maker and would prevent the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union if he could travel back in time.
Asked during a forum in Russia what occurrence he would most like to stop if allowed to alter modern history, the Kremlin strongman responded, “The disintegration of the Soviet Union,” reports the Associated Press, citing Russian news agencies.
“Putin made the comments, likely to strike a chord with millions of nostalgic older Russians, weeks before a March 18 election that polls show he should win comfortably,” notes Reuters.
In 2005, the Russian president described the fall of the USSR as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” Putin served in the KGB during the Soviet era.
When asked on Friday what period of history he would like to live in the most, he suggested the present, replying, “You see in previous periods all my ancestors were serfs and I’m the president.”
According to Kremlin propaganda outlet Russia Today (RT), the Russian president also addressed his fondness for cooking, telling the event’s host, “I make salad. It’s really tasty. I’ll serve you some later.”
Putin’s comments came a day after he claimed that Russia had developed new nuclear weapons capable of averting U.S. and NATO defense mechanisms.
Last October, Putin warned the United States that withdrawing from their mutual nuclear treaty would prompt the Kremlin to “hit back fast.”
“From our side, the response will be instant, and I want to warn, symmetrical,” cautioned the Russian president.
During the same event in October, Putin blamed the collapse of the USSR on the Soviet Union trusting the West “too much,” describing the move as “our biggest mistake.”
“You interpreted our trust as weakness, and you exploited that,” said the Russian president, adding:
Unfortunately, our Western partners, having divided the USSR’s geopolitical legacy, were certain of their own incontestable righteousness having declared themselves the victors of the “Cold War.”
They started to openly interfere in the sovereign affairs of countries and to export democracy in the same way as in their time the Soviet leadership tried to export the Socialist revolution to the whole world.
Bashing the West plays well with Russian voters.
According to the latest Global Firepower (GFP) index, which ranks the armed forces strength of 133 countries each year, the United States and Russia are respectively the number one and two most powerful militaries in the world.