The latest U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the website WikiLeaks indicate the U.S. views Russia as a corrupt, virtual "mafia state."
A secret memo that apparently originated from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow paints a picture of a nation that is fraught with corruption at every level of its government, including bribery, extortion and espionage. The cable refers to Moscow as a "kleptocracy" with the Kremlin and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the center.
Responding to the leaked cables, Mr. Putin told CNN the U.S. should not interfere in Russia's internal affairs.
Thousands of classified documents have been released this week by WikiLeaks.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the leak of State Department documents "will not in any way" interfere with American diplomacy.
Despite Clinton's optimism, Undersecretary of State William Burns said in Washington the release of the classified papers by WikiLeaks has "substantially hurt" U.S. diplomatic efforts. Burns told a U.S. congressional committee the WikiLeaks disclosures are a "despicable breach of trust."
Also Wednesday, Amazon.com prevented WikiLeaks from using the U.S. company's computer servers to distribute documents.
The company's move to kick WikiLeaks off its servers came following pressure from U.S. lawmakers. U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman praised Amazon's decision and called for other companies hosting WikiLeaks to terminate relationships with the website.
Interpol has placed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted list after Sweden issued an arrest warrant for him as part of a rape investigation.