Putin rejects any do-over of fraud-tainted vote

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For the first time, Mr. Putin referred publicly to the humiliating catcalls that greeted him at a sports arena last month, saying the audience might have been reacting to the mixed martial arts fight there, not his appearance.

In another promise to voters, Mr. Putin said President Dmitry Medvedev’s decision to permanently switch the nation to a summer time can be reviewed. The move left Russians trudging to work in the morning in complete darkness, angering many.

Mr. Putin also lashed out at U.S. Sen. John McCain, who had goaded him with a Twitter post saying that “the Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you.”

“He has a lot of blood of peaceful civilians on his hands. He must relish and can’t live without the disgusting, repulsive scenes of the killing of Gadhafi,” Mr. Putin said, referring to Mr. McCain’s role as a combat pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“Mr. McCain was captured in Vietnam, and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years,” Mr. Putin added. “Anyone (in his place) would go nuts.”

Mr. McCain responded Thursday with another tweet: “Dear Vlad, is it something I said?”

Nataliya Vasilyeva and Jim Heintz in Moscow 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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