© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a joint news conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis following their meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia December 8, 2021. Sputnik/Evgeny Odinokov/Krem
By Andrew Osborn and Andrey Ostroukh
MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin has lamented the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago as the demise of what he called “historical Russia” and said the economic crisis that followed was so bad he was forced to moonlight as a taxi driver.
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…