Putin claims intercepted phone calls prove US helped Chechen Islamic insurgents wage war against Russia

Here's the story from the Daily Mail:

Putin claims intercepted phone calls prove US helped Chechen Islamic insurgents wage war against Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed that intercepted phone calls prove the US helped Chechen Islamic insurgents wage war against Russia.

In a documentary aired today on state-owned Rossiya-1 TV channel, he said phone records from the early 2000s show direct contact between North Caucasus separatists and US secret services.

'At one point our secret services simply detected direct contacts between militants from the North Caucasus and representatives of the United States secret services in Azerbaijan,' Putin said.

Putin said he raised the issue with then-US President George W. Bush, who promised to 'kick the ass' of the intelligence officers in question. But he claimed a few days later the heads of Russia's FSB received a letter from their American counterparts, which said they had the right to
support opposition forces in Russia.'

Someone over there, especially the West's intelligence services, obviously thought that if they act to destabilize their main geopolitical rival, which, as we now understand, in their eyes has always been Russia, it would be good for them. It turned out, it wasn't,' Putin said.

He said he had warned the West about the possible dangers of supporting terrorists.

Following a disastrous war in the 1990s, Russia fought Islamic insurgents in Chechnya and neighboring regions in the volatile North Caucasus. 'They were actually helping them, even with transportation,' Putin said.

The documentary 'The President' showed Putin being interviewed at the Kremlin in the dimly-lit St. Alexander's Hall.

He even defended the annexation of Crimea as a response to the will of the people, saying it righted a historical injustice.

The annexation of the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014 provoked the worst crisis between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War. Putin said he had no regrets. 'It's
not because Crimea has a strategic importance in the Black Sea region.

It's because this has elements of historical justice. I believe we did the right thing and I don't regret anything,' he said.