McCain to Russia: You deserve better than Putin

Updated

Sen. John McCain penned a fiery, retaliatory Op-Ed that scorns Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government for what McCain sees has an authoritarian, hateful, and oppressive rule.

“I believe the Russian people, no less than Americans, are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” the Arizona Republican wrote. “President Putin and his associates do not believe in these values. They 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. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance.”

Putin wrote his own Op-Ed in the New York Times last week advocating against an American intervention in Syria. The Russian leader challenged President Obama’s public remarks that the United States’s policies make it an “exceptional” country. “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation,” Putin wrote.

McCain, however, penned a sharp condemnation of Putin’s rule and their policy on Syria, saying he would “long for the day when” Russians have “a government that believes in and answers to you.”

It was published in Pravda.ru, a website spun off from the Communist publication Pravda. McCain also submitted the Op-Ed to the newsletter that acts as the official voice of the Communist party, but has not heard back according to McCain’s office.

“President Putin claims his purpose is to restore Russia to greatness at home and among the nations of the world,” McCain continued. “How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By 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.”

“President Putin doesn’t believe in these values because he doesn’t believe in you,” McCain said. “He rules for himself, not you.”

Read the Op-Ed in full in English and in Russian.

McCain to Russia: You deserve better than Putin

Updated