“US citizens were in the area in conflict during the hostilities in Georgia. It should be admitted that they would do so only in following direct orders from their leaders. Someone in the US specially created this conflict to create an advantage for a US presidential candidate”
Beyond handing McCain an advantage, Putin recognizes that Bush and the Neocons want to revive the cold war; to take the United States back to the days when all the government had to do was wave Russians at us and fear would turn Americans into obedient little slaves, doing what we were told, paying whatever taxes we were told, breeding soldiers as fast as we were told.
Putin knows the USSR lost that cold war game, and he clearly does not intend to play along with a repeat.