Putin: Moscow riots show need for stronger order

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As was the case in previous shows that helped him retain his pre-eminence, Mr. Putin rolled out positive economic statistics, made generous social promises, cracked occasional jokes and eagerly resorted to his trademark earthly language.

Asked if he had ever ordered Russian special services to kill traitors, he said he stopped doing that a long time ago, but added that the “animal” who betrayed the 10 sleeper spies who were arrested in the United States this summer will not live happily.

Russia’s special services don’t do that (kill traitors),” he said. “As for the traitors, they will croak themselves. Whatever equivalent of 30 pieces of silver they get, it will get stuck in their throats.”

Mr. Putin met and sang patriotic songs with the 10 agents who returned home in July after a spy swap shortly after their arrest, and he again praised them Thursday.

“Those people sacrificed their lives to serve the Motherland, and there happened to be an animal who betrayed them,” Mr. Putin said. “How will he live with it all his life, how will he look his children in the eye? Swine!”

Asked if the nation owes FIFA’s decision to award the 2018 World Cup to his sheer luck, Mr. Putin said ‘yes’ with a self-complacent smile. He added, on a more serious note, that Russia won the contest thanks to its “persistent and tactful” efforts to persuade FIFA of its merits.

The weekend’s riots that came just days after FIFA’s decision embarrassed the Kremlin and raised questions about Russia’s ability to safely hold international sporting events, including the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Mr. Putin insisted that the Sochi Olympics and the football World Cup will help modernize Russia’s infrastructure and improve living standards.

Many of the questions were interlaced with flattery, and one referred to a Bulgarian shepherd puppy he recently received as a gift from the Bulgarian premier. He said the puppy, named Buffy — a name it was given after a national competition — was doing fine.

“He is doing excellently,” Mr. Putin said. “He leaves me huge puddles around the entire house, and leaves piles. But he’s a very pretty boy, of course, and I love him.”

AP reporter David Nowak contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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