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McCain blasts Putin regime in Pravda op-ed

McCain blasts Putin in Russian publication, says Russian government is corrupt, tyrannical.
Posted By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Sept. 19, 2013 at 9:06 AM   |   Comments

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Sept. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. senator John McCain wrote an opinion piece for Russian publication Pravda in which he opened by saying he is not anti-Russian, but "more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today."

He went on to blast the government of President Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for 14 years, for corruption and tyranny.

A Russian citizen could not publish a testament like the one I just offered. President Putin and his associates do not believe in these values. They 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. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. 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.

He also referred to the conviction and imprisonment of members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot and the recent laws against homosexual "propaganda."

McCain also referred to Sergei Magnitsky, the whistleblower who uncovered a $230 million fraud perpetrated by police and tax officials. He was jailed for the fraud himself, where he was beaten, fell ill and died. Magnitsky was given a posthumous "show trial" where he was found guilty of fraud.

McCain blasted Putin for claiming to strengthen Russia's international stature, and doing so by "allying Russia with some of the world's most offensive and threatening tyrannies."

"He 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."

McCain closed by saying he longs for the day when the Russian government is answerable to the people.

"I believe in the greatness of the Russian people, who suffered enormously and fought bravely against terrible adversity to save your nation. I believe in your right to make a civilization worthy of your dreams and sacrifices. When I criticize your government, it is not because I am anti-Russian. It is because I believe you deserve a government that believes in you and answers to you."
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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