Putin once casually said over dinner that he could destroy America in a half-hour (or less)

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

In December 2011, then-Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was positioned to reclaim his role as the president of Russia after the formalities of the March 2012 elections.

Fittingly, Putin hosted a lavish banquet at New Century, Moscow's richest equestrian club, for members of the Valdai Club and distinguished academics and journalists from around the world.

"The fare was extravagant: smoked trout, duck liver, venison soup, rhubarb sorbet, veal cheeks, and pear soup with caramel," according to authors of the "The Russia-China Axis," Douglas E. Schoen and Melik Kaylan.


See Vladimir Putin during various meetings with President Obama through the years:

5 PHOTOS
Obama and Putin's awkward meetings through the years
See Gallery
Obama and Putin's awkward meetings through the years
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attend a family photo ceremony during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
SAINT PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 05: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit on September 5, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The G20 summit is expected to be dominated by the issue of military action in Syria while issues surrounding the global economy, including tax avoidance by multinationals, will also be discussed during the two-day summit. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russias President Vladimir Putin (L) walks past US President Barack Obama as he arrives to pose for the family photo during the G20 summit on September 6, 2013 in Saint Petersburg. World leaders at the G20 summit on Friday failed to bridge their bitter divisions over US plans for military action against the Syrian regime, with Washington signalling that it has given up on securing Russia's support at the UN on the crisis. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
ENNISKILLEN, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 18: Leaders (L-R) Russia's President Vladimir Putin, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama stand for the 'family' group photograph at the G8 venue of Lough Erne on June 18, 2013 in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. The two day G8 summit, hosted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, is being held in Northern Ireland for the first time. Leaders from the G8 nations have gathered to discuss numerous topics with the situation in Syria expected to dominate the talks. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Putin addressed his guests on topics ranging from the "Russian government's loss of public trust to his own indispensable leadership."

He later directed his focus on the US and addressed the Americans in attendance, "You ask me whether we are going to change," he said.

"The ball is in your court. Will you change?"

He went on to express his disapproval of US plans to build a missile-defense system that he believed would pose a deliberate threat to Russia's national security.

Putin then added that the only reason the US had any interest in relations with Moscow was that Russia was the only country that could "destroy America in half an hour or less."

Schoen and Kaylan conclude, "It would be a difficult to find a statement more revealing about Putin's true position regarding the United States."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners