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Putin clashes with Time over `Russophobic` cover

The international edition of Time came out just days before Russia holds a March 4 presidential ballot in which Putin is widely expected to overcome a recent wave of protests to regain the seat he held in 2000-08.



Moscow: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin`s
spokesman on Friday accused the US magazine Time of "Russophobia"
after it placed the strongman on its front cover and suggested
that Russia posed a global security threat.

The international edition of Time came out just days
before Russia holds a March 4 presidential ballot in which
Putin is widely expected to overcome a recent wave of protests
to regain the seat he held in 2000-08.

"Russia`s Incredible Shrinking Premier," Time said in
bold letters over a tiny picture of Putin -- whom it named
Person of the Year in 2007 -- walking confidently in a suit.

"Vladimir Putin will win a third term as president, but
his hold on power is shakier than ever. That makes the world a
more dangerous place," it said.

The US edition of Time focused instead on the heated
White House race.

"One can confidently say that the author of these words
is a big Russophobe and Putinphobe," Putin`s spokesman Dmitry
Peskov told Kommersant FM radio.

"This phobia is clouding (the author`s) eyes and
preventing him from objectively assessing reality."

There was no immediate response to the criticism from
Time or the article`s author.

Time called Putin "Tsar of The New Russia" over a famous
shot of the ex-KGB spy staring icily into the camera for its
December 2007 issue in which he was named the world`s most
significant figure of the year.

Putin has had frequent scuffles with the media through
his 12-year domination of Russia, once suggesting castration
for a French reporter who asked him a question in 2002 about
the controversial war in Chechnya.

He most recently accused a Moscow radio station that
presents a venue for the opposition of covering him with
"diarrhoea" in its news reports.

And several of Russia`s once-independent media outlets
saw a reimposition of state control over their activities
after Putin first took office as president in 2000.

Peskov said Putin`s team would continue "explaining the
actions that we are taking" in a bid to prove why the West`s
perception of the Russian leader was often wrong.

"But we will also refrain from offering explanations to
those for whom this would make no difference," he added.

PTI

From Zee News

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