Sen. John McCain attacks Putin on Russian website

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), (L), makes remarks to the media as U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) listens, after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, on possible military
Sent. John McCain, R-Arizona, criticized the Russian leader’s policies at home and in Syria. Credit: Reuters

Sen. John McCain accused Vladimir Putin on Thursday of allying himself with tyrants and ruling through violence and repression, in a retort to a New York Times editorial by the Russian president earlier this month.

In an editorial published on the news website Pravda.ru, McCain criticized the Russian leader’s policies at home and in Syria, where he has protected President Bashar al-Assad.

“[Putin] is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world,” wrote the senior senator from Arizona, who is also a leading Republican voice on military affairs.

Pravda.ru considers itself a successor to the Soviet-era Communist Party newspaper but is not connected to it. Like the newspaper, which still exists, it has a limited readership.

U.S.-Russia ties are at one of their lowest points since the Cold War. Tensions over the Syrian conflict have been compounded by differences over human rights and the fate of fugitive ex-U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, to whom Russia awarded asylum.

Putin’s op-ed article said a military strike against Assad could escalate a conflict that has already killed more than 100,000 people.

Russia, a longtime ally of Assad, sees the rebels as the chief instigator of civil war in Syria. It has blocked three U.N. resolutions aimed at pressuring Assad to end violence, but is involved in talks on a plan enabling the Syrian leader to give up his chemical weapons to avoid possible U.S. military strikes.

Putin, speaking to a gathering of the Valdai Club of journalists, social scientists and public figures, said he regretted that MacCain had not taken up an invitation to the meeting. The Senator’s positions, he said, were largely a product of ignorance.

“It all speaks of the fact that MacCain has a deficit of information about Russia,” Putin said. “The more we speak to each other directly, the better it will be.”

Kremlin critic

McCain, who is known in Russia as one of the Kremlin’s harshest critics, warned Putin in 2011 that “the Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you” when fraud allegations triggered mass street protests after a parliamentary election.

The senator has been critical of Putin’s domestic policies, including Moscow’s response to the protest movement that has all but died out after Russia’s parliament passed laws that critics say are intended to clamp down on dissent.

“President Putin and his associates … don’t respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media,” McCain wrote.

“To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption.”

After Russia gave asylum to Snowden, who is wanted by U.S. authorities, McCain said Washington should complete missile-defense programs in Europe and expand NATO to include Russian neighbor Georgia – both endeavors that are anathema to Moscow.

McCain made reference to anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in pre-trial detention after accusing officials of a $230-million fraud, and mentioned recently passed laws criticized in the West for being anti-gay.

He also said that the members of the protest punk band Pussy Riot, two of whom are serving time behind bars for a protest against Putin in a Moscow cathedral, had been convicted on political grounds.

“They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rock band in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and for having the audacity to protest President Putin’s rule,” he said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.