- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called out the U.S. for the prosecution of Capitol rioters, the killing of protester Ashli Babbitt and unchecked violence on America’s streets — saying he doesn’t want those problems in his country.

Mr. Putin gave his view of the events in the U.S. as he sidestepped questions about why his political opponents end up dead or imprisoned.

“People went into U.S. Congress with political demands. Four hundred people are not facing criminal charges. They are facing prison terms of up to 20 maybe 25 years. They are called ‘homegrown terrorists,’ They are being accused of many other things,” Mr. Putin said when asked about the treatment of his political opposition.

He also noted Babbitt, who was shot and killed outside the House chamber by U.S. Capitol Police.

Babbitt, 34, was the only person killed by gunfire that day.

“One of the participants, a woman, was shot dead on the spot. She was not threatening,” Mr. Putin said. “Why am I bringing this up? Many people are facing the same things as we do. I am stressing this: We are sympathizing with the United States but we do not want the same thing repeating here.”

Mr. Putin also pointed to the murder of George Floyd by a police officer and the ensuing violent protest that swept across the U.S. in 2020.

“America quite recently had to deal with terrible events after the murder of or the killing of the African American and Black Lives Matter ensued,” he said. “We saw mass violations of the law. We do not wish to see this kind of thing could happen on our territory and we will do our utmost to prevent it.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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