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Leaked cable reveals Putin slacking

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has a questionable work ethic, one of the 250,000 diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks alleges.

The cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to Washington in early 2009 recapped grumblings among Russia's political movers and shakers, The New York Times reported.

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"There are consistent reports that Putin resents or resists the workload he carries," the Times quote the memo as saying. Putin exhibited "fatigue," "hands-off behavior" and "isolation" to the point that he was "working from home," the cable said.

"His disengagement reflects his recognition that a sharp reduction in resources limits his ability to find workable compromises among the Kremlin elite," the cable said.

Scores of other cables reveal the United States, despite a public campaign for closer ties, holds little hope Russia will become more democratic or reliable under its current leadership, and with corruption structurally endemic and pervasive, the Times said.

Russia's internal situation left American diplomats frustrated and suspicious, the newspaper said.

Cables from 2008 show U.S. diplomats' grasp of the situation in Georgia was deficient, leaving the United States ill-equipped to try to head off Russia's military incursion into its former satellite state in a dispute over the futures of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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The Times said the last cables prior to the brief Russian-Georgian war revealed the U.S. Embassy relayed statements later proved wrong.

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