Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Moscow: In a tit-for-tat retort to Vladimir Putin’s op-ed in New York Times, US Senator John McCain wrote a sharp-worded opinion piece in Russian newspaper Pravda, calling the Russian President a tyrant who ruled by repression and corruption and did not “believe in Russians”.
Unlike Putin’s bittersweet op-ed titled "A Plea for Caution From Russia" that was published in New York Times, McCain chose a straightforward header for his op-ed - "Russians Deserve Better Than Putin” and openly criticized Russian regime for the misrule and tyranny.
The editorial was also published on Russian news website pravda.ru.
In a scathing critique, McCain slammed Putin for clamping down dissent, punishing protesters, and using corrupt and violent means of governance.
"President Putin doesn`t believe ... in you. He doesn`t believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn`t believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence.
Referring to Putin’s policy on Syria, McCain said the Russian President was “destroying the reputation” of the country by teaming up with the tyrants (Assad regime).
"(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 Arizona Senator who is known to be a staunch supporter of military intervention in Syria.
Calrifying that he was not against the people of Russia, but against the regime, he said, "I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today."
McCain also mentioned whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky and punk band Pussy Riot while blaming Putin government of tyranny and oppressing and murdering dissenters.
Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who died in pre-trial detention and according to human rights activists, was beaten up during detention and denied the medical treatment as he had accused Russian government officials of frau worth $230-million.
Mccain’s riposte in Russian media comes after the much talked about op-ed written by Vladimir Putin in New York Times in which the Russian leader had criticised Obama’s comment of America being exceptional.
Putin had also claimed that the US relies only on brute force and not democracy. Putin`s op-ed wore a warning tone topped with the tinge of an appeal as the Russian leader slammed America`s frequent military intervention in internal conflicts as alarming.
McCain’s commentary comes at a time when Russia and US have agreed upon a chemical arms disarmament plan but the differences remain.
Russia objects to military threat in case of non-compliance by Assad while the US wants to retain the pressure by keeping open its military option on Syria.
Moreover, the Russian granting of political asylum to the US whistleblower Edward Snowden is another catalyst adding to the soreness between Russia-US ties.