Russia President Vladimir Putin on Thursday seemed to downplay the severity of the raid of the U.S. Capitol, saying rioters are facing related charges for taking a walk or stroll into the building.
Speaking at a meeting about Russian investment activity, Mr. Putin brought up the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol building while talking about striving for stability between Moscow and Washington.
“Of all those who walked into the US Congress building, 150 people were arrested and face anywhere from 15 to 25 years in prison,” Mr. Putin said in Russian, as translated into English by the Kremlin.
The actual word Mr. Putin spoke in Russian, прогулку, means a walk or a stroll, minimizing the alleged conduct of scores of defendants facing charges related to raiding the Capitol on Jan. 6.
More than 300 people have been charged so far in relation to the rioting, including multiple defendants accused of crimes of violence, such as assaulting police officers, among other counts.
“We have no way of knowing whether the internal contradictions will stop there,” Mr. Putin said about the riot, as translated by the Russian government and published on the official Kremlin website.
“We really want them to stop, and I will tell you why. We are interested in steady relations with all our key partners, and internal squabbles, for internal political reasons, are in the way of achieving this kind of stability in the relations between our states,” said Mr. Putin, as translated by the Kremlin.
Supporters of former President Trump forced their way into the Capitol as Congress met inside to certify the results of November’s election and officially recognize the Democrat Joseph R. Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Five people died at the scene or shortly after, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian D. Sicknick and Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, a military veteran among the protesters. Dozens of police were injured as well.
President Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20.