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John McCain slams Vladimir Putin in opinion piece for Pravda

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Russians deserve better than a leader who allies with tyrants and rules through violence and repression, Sen. John McCain said Thursday in a scathing op-ed seen as a retort to an earlier article by President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, lashed out at Mr. Putin's record at home and abroad, and especially in Syria, where the former KGB officer repeatedly has used Moscow's veto power in the U.N. Security Council to protect Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Mr. Putin "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," Mr. McCain said in the op-ed, published on news website

The editorial is headlined "Russians deserve better than Putin," and in it Mr. McCain tells the Russian people that he is not anti-Russian but "more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today."

He slams Mr. Putin and his associates for disrespecting human rights, punishing dissenters, rigging elections, controlling media and ruling "by corruption, repression and violence." considers itself a successor to the Soviet-era Communist Party newspaper but is not connected to it, according to Reuters news agency. Like the newspaper, which still exists, it has a limited readership in Russia, the agency said.

Earlier this month, Mr. Putin wrote an op-ed for The New York Times that criticized U.S. policies on Syria.


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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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