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Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone has branded reports that Russia is responsible for the escalating violence in Ukraine as “fake news”.
The American film-maker said claims Russia was “aggravating the situation” in the warzone were untrue and insisted the United States had a “huge responsibility” for the continuing conflict.
Stone, who interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin for his new documentary, Ukraine On Fire, also backed President Donald Trump’s bid to improve US-Russian relations.
Speaking at a screening of the film in Los Angeles, Stone claimed America had used the Ukrainian conflict to “blackball” Russia and “keep the concept of NATO alive”.
He told the Press Association: “(America) has a huge role, a huge responsibility and has denied it. It’s completely denied the whole truth of the situation.
“It’s a very painful situation for the people who live in that area but at the same time it’s used by the United States to blackball Russia as much as possible and keep the concept of NATO alive.
“It’s a very important film and a very important subject that has been swept under the rug by our country.
“Frankly today I’m shocked they published fake news that the Russians are aggravating the situation when all the casualties are in (rebel-held) Donetsk.
He added: “It’s a horrible situation and totally fake.”
Speaking at the Italian Institute of Culture in Los Angeles, Stone said he hoped Mr Trump could improve America’s relationship with Russia.
“Certainly the US and Russia should be allies,” he said. “As Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy said very well, we have a stake in humanity together.”
The Platoon director also said he did not believe Russia intervened in the US election, despite the findings of the CIA and FBI.
“It doesn’t make sense for them to get involved,” Stone said.
“They’d get into trouble. Hillary Clinton was supposed to win. Everyone favored her.
“It would be a huge mistake on his part to do it. Also that’s their policy, in general, never to get involved in a domestic (election).
“The United States is the one that gets involved in most domestic elections and interferes.”
Stone, who won best director Oscars for Platoon and Born On The Fourth Of July, produced the documentary Ukraine On Fire which looks at the country’s revolution in 2014.
The film features an interview with ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych and argues he was the victim of a US-inspired coup with the intent of pushing back against Russia.