(CNN)Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks about "patriotic hackers" have led to more than a few raised eyebrows.
After condemning this week what he described as rampant "Russophobia," Putin painted a lyrical portrait of hackers waging war in defense of the fatherland.
"Hackers are free people, like artists," Putin told a panel in St. Petersburg.
"They wake up in a good mood and paint things. Same with hackers ... They read something about the state-to-state relations. If they are patriotic, they make their own contribution to fight those who say bad things about Russia. "
He returned to the theme Friday when challenged about evidence of Russian "fingerprints" in the recent hacking of US organizations, particularly the Democratic Party. "Whose fingerprints?" he asked. "All these IP addresses can be faked.
Do you know how many specialists there are like that?"
"It's not evidence. It's an attempt to put this on us," Putin added."