This historical scar, a treacherous attack on our country. The price we paid for victory in the Great Patriotic War, it will forever make the security issue essential for our country. Some like to mock this, "Ha-ha, Russia is always surrounded by a ring of enemies." But no matter what they say, those that joke like this, they separate themselves from our country's fate.
Meanwhile, decent people all over the world treat Russia's security concerns with understanding, or at least with sincere interest, trying to make sense of it. One of these people, a 3-times Oscar winning director, a wounded Vietnam war veteran, Oliver Stone. He prefers to get to the bottom of things on his own. I believe that history has a meaning and a purpose which must be found. In the search for a meaning and a purpose of humanity's modern history at the current stage, Oliver Stone asked President Putin about a series of interviews. It took him 2 years to film this.
The result was a 4-episode series, that aired in the US last week, and this week — in Russia. The film was sold in many countries, including European channels. The series concept is simple. Stone asks questions, Putin answers them. Sometimes, there are short historic references. That's it. Security issues are present in every episode. Putin is sincere and deep, which must be unusual for the American public. On the one hand, because their politicians don't talk to them like this. On the other hand, because there, it's normal to see the Russian President as the root of all evil.
In this series, Putin, laughs, listens, and answers in a manner, where he always tries to go deeper into the subject, raising the intellectual bar. Although, some answers may come off cold and adamant: in the event of a direct conflict with the US, nobody will survive. In the event of a nuclear war, will the US have an advantage? Yes or no? No. No. What about Russia? Will Russia survive the war? I think nobody can survive such a conflict. Even with the missile defense shield? Today, the missile shield wouldn't protect USA. And there's a certain threat in this matter.
The threat is that there's an illusion of protection. This may lead to more aggressive behavior. That's why it's important not to allow any unilateral actions. That's why we suggested to jointly develop the missile defense systems. Now, about the vengeance weapon, which both sides have, and which from some point, when the system is launched, goes beyond the point of return and acts automatically. The concept of the nuclear winter, the end of the world. It was all connected to the hydrogen bomb. The scientists talked about this right after the war. Truman expanded this concept. The thing is that not much has changed since then.
The only difference is that modern defense systems are more complex. And this concept of the vengeance weapon, and the impossibility of controlling this system from some point, they're all very valid today. It became even more difficult and more dangerous. I agree with you. Putin is against treating the current war as a game. Even though, sometimes it seems that's how the US sees it. He values the input of the intellectuals on the dawn of the nuclear era, that made sure that for the balance, the Soviet Union would also have a nuclear bomb. Do you remember how the nuclear project developed?
When the US created the nuclear bomb, and the Soviet Union started actively expanding their nuclear program, Russia had Russian scientists working on the project, along with foreign ones, mostly Germans. That's right. We received plenty of Intel data from the US. And we can remember the Rosenberg spouses, who ended up on the electrical chair. They didn't get this information, they simply passed it along. Who gave the information? It was the American scientists, themselves, who developed the nuclear bomb. Why did they do it? They realized the danger. They let the genie out of the bottle. And they couldn't put it back in. And this international team of scientists, who were probably smarter than the politicians, they deliberately, in my opinion, passed this information to the Soviet Union to restore the nuclear balance in the world. And what are we doing now? We are trying to disrupt that balance. This is a big mistake.
Oliver Stone's project, build on his interviews with the Russian leader, leaves a clear impression, that on the one hand, Putin is open to honest cooperation with America, but on the other hand, he's been disappointed several times because of USA's unilateral exit from the ABM Treaty, because of NATO's expansion. Accept Russia in there, as well, then. Also, because America created Al-Qaeda. How come you never detected Bin Laden's location? You couldn't even determine how weak Al-Qaeda's positions were in Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda is not a result of our actions. This is the result of our American friends' actions. This started during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
When American special services supported different directions of Islamic fundamentalism to fight the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, Americans created Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden. But, it all spun out of control. Then, they fight terrorism, but for some reason, still always support the terrorists that fight against Russia. Putin knew that as soon as he became President, on Chechnya's example. The thing is that these ideas haven't died. When we started having problems in Chechnya, in the North Caucasus, unfortunately, Americans supported these processes.
The Cold War is in the past, we have a nice transparent relationship with the world, with Europe, with the US, and of course, we counted on support. Instead, we saw that American special services supported the terrorists. I'm going to tell you something important, in my opinion. We had a very strong opinion, not now, but then, that our American partners talk about supporting Russia, talk about the necessity of a joint fight against terrorism, but in reality they use these terrorists to shake-up the political situation in Russia. It's also ambivalent in Syria, where Americans act without an invitation. They act like they fight the terrorists, but in reality they solve their own issues, creating problems for Russia.
However, even in these conditions, our troops are very persuasive there. A lot of countries flew there, including Australia. Oh really? Australia, and Canada, I think. Australia and Canada? What about the Iranian Air Force? No, no Iran. I'd say it's hot in the sky there. I don't think so, because if our pilots make on average about 70-120 strikes, the entire American-led coalition strikes 2-5 times per day. You strike 72-100 times every day? Every day? So there must be some success. Won't it be the same as in Vietnam? There is progress. Do you see progress? Everyone does. It's obvious, with how much love, pride, and faith Putin speaks of our military. Even when the American destroyer Donald Cook approached the Crimean shore, which was helpless against the Bastion system. In Crimea, we put up our new shore defense complex system. Bastion, right? Bastion. But it's a very big missile, and the Donald Cook destroyer is armed with tomahawks.
Against such missile defense systems, a vessel like Donald Cook is completely defenseless. That's probably why they turned around. Could your commander have opened fire? We always have the permission to use any of our means of defense to protect the Russian Federation. Still, this is a very serious collision. Nothing good about it. But what is Donald Cook doing by our territory? Who's provoking whom? We intend to defend our territory. How long did this challenge last? It happened real time, or about so. The commander probably saw that they were exposed by the missile complex.
The devices indicate that the ship is exposed. I repeat, I don't know this person, but he's very constrained, to me, very responsible, and he's a courageous officer. He made the right decision, he didn't make the matters worse. He didn't provoke anybody, he didn't escalate the situation to absurdity. This doesn't mean that he would have been attacked by missiles, but they had to see that the shore was protected.
However, Russia and USA are forever important partners, who carry joint global responsibility. There are a lot of common topics. Do you intend to meet with Mr. Trump in the following months? I do suppose we'll see each other sometime, but we're not rushing it. When the administration is ready for practical work, we will immediately respond. Now we have a common threat of international terrorism, with global poverty, with environmental degradation, that really threaten humanity as a whole. After all, we have so many nuclear weapons accumulated, that it became a threat to the world. We should really think about it, there's a lot to work on.