Senator John McCain (R, Ariz.) took some hits at Russian president Putin in an op-ed in Russia’s Pravda Thursday. First dispelling claims that he is anti-Russian, McCain said, “I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today,” and then went on to decry the abuses of the Putin regimee.
“[President Putin and his associates] 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,” McCain said. “They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn.”
On Syria, McCain criticized Putin for “supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. . . . He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it.”
McCain penned his op-ed after Putin’s own op-ed appeared last week in the New York Times. In it Putin criticized America for thinking it is exceptional and warned against U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war.
McCain ended his piece with support for the Russian people: “I believe in your capacity for self-government and your desire for justice and opportunity. […] I believe in your right to make a civilization worthy of your dreams and sacrifices.”
UPDATE: John McCain may have published his op-ed in the wrong Pravda, according to Politico. McCain had said that he wanted to publish his piece in the communist newspaper called Pravda founded in 1912, which was banned when the Soviet Union fell. The magazine has subsequently been republished and is circulated by the Communist arty in Russia today. Instead, the article appeared on Pravda.ru, a website that is unrelated to the original Communist Pravda. A spokesman for McCain said that the senator had actually submitted his op-ed to both of the publications and denied that the publishing on Pravda.ru was “wrong.”