Veteran cold warrior John McCain has turned to a namesake of the famed Soviet-era publication Pravda to issue a rebuttal to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s controversial op-ed in the New York Times last week, telling Russians they deserve better than their current leadership and calling the country’s government corrupt and repressive.
But while the 77-year-old senator from Arizona appears to have been thinking of the once widely read Soviet-era Kremlin propaganda organ whose title means “Truth,” his article instead appeared Thursday on the pro-Kremlin website Pravda.ru. The site, which supports Mr. Putin’s United Russia party, is a rival of the newspaper of the same name owned by the opposition Communist Party.
The confusion stems from the ugly split between the two publications that emerged out of the ashes of the Soviet paper that once had a daily circulation of more than one million readers, but which closed in the 1990s. Pravda.ru was founded by journalists from the original Pravda, while the Communist Party created another paper with the same name. The two went to court over who had legitimate claim to the title, but in the end an arbitration court ruled both did.
When asked about the Pravda vs. Pravda.ru flap last weekend, Mr. McCain said he hoped he would be writing for “the Communist publication,” CNN reported.
I wonder if Putin was thinking the same thing . . .