Putin told news network CNN that Russian military officials said that movement of Georgian troops into South Ossettia was orchestrated by the U.S. and that American citizens were seen in the area as the conflict began and implied that they must have been acting under the orders of President Bush. CNN has video of Putin's accusations against the U.S.
U.S. officials reacted incredulously to Putin's claims. Whites House spokeswoman Dana Perino called Putin's accusations "patently false," adding that "[t]o suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational." U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said that the allegations were "ludicrous."
Russia has been occupying nothern parts of Georgia since it reacted swiftly when the latter country moved troops into the region of Southern Ossettia in early August. Georgian troops were routed by the Russian army, which has now established checkpoints inside the former Soviet republic.