Putin says condom comment wasn`t meant as insult
Putin says his reference to the white ribbons worn by opposition protesters as "condoms" wasn`t meant to insult the demonstrators.
Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin says his reference to the white ribbons worn by opposition protesters as "condoms" wasn`t meant to insult the demonstrators.
In December, as protests began roiling Russia after a fraud-tainted parliamentary election, Putin derided the demonstrators, saying he initially thought the ribbons were condoms. Subsequent demonstrations saw protesters inflating condoms like balloons in a sarcastic retort.
But speaking to a gathering on Tuesday that included both opposition activists and adherents of a pro-Kremlin youth group, Putin appeared to try to slightly mollify the opposition while not giving any ground.
"I wasn`t speaking against the people who came out with these symbols; I was annoyed about those people who use techniques developed somewhere over the hill," Putin said, using a colloquialism for something foreign.