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Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Kremlin, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 17, 2017. The Kremlin says that Ukraine is ruining its own territorial integrity with a blockade of rebel regions in the east. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Putin suggested that 'patriotically minded' Russian hackers were involved in cyberattacks

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President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia suggested on Thursday that "patriotically minded" private Russian hackers could have been involved in the cyber attacks that rocked the 2016 presidential election. 

Though he denied any state role in the hacking, his comments reversed an earlier position in which he adamantly declared that Russia played no role whatsoever in the U.S. presidential election.

When asked about suspicions that Russia may attempt to intervene in Germany's upcoming elections, Putin compared hackers to free-spirited artists who chose their targets depending on how they feel "when they wake up in the morning."

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