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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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The only REAL Democrat

I'm the world's only true democrat, says Putin
Mon Jun 4, 2007 12:11PM EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin has described himself as the world's only "pure" democrat and attacked the United States and Europe, which have criticized him, for falling short of their own ideals.

In an interview with Western media released on Monday, he rejected Western criticism that he has centralized power in the Kremlin, marginalized the opposition and increased state control over the media.

Asked whether he agreed with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's description of him as an "impeccable democrat", Putin replied laughing:

"Of course I am an absolute, pure democrat. But you know the problem? It's not even a problem, it's a real tragedy. The thing is that I am the only one, there just aren't any others in the world."

Putin said the West's record on democracy was less than perfect.

"Let's look what happens in North America -- sheer horror: torture, the homeless, Guantanamo, keeping people in custody without trial or investigation," Putin said in the interview ahead of this week's summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrial nations.

"Look what's going on in Europe: the harsh treatment of demonstrators, the use of rubber bullets, tear gas in one capital or another, the killing of demonstrators in the streets."
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 11:44 AM
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I wonder if Poot-in is going to be able to tear himself out of that Tyvek bag he keeps wrapping himself up in.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-04-2007, 01:20 PM
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His remarks are very clever, and their economy is improving some, but

how many people yearning for freedom have Russia as a destination for immigration?

I'd want to ask him how the citizens of Grozny, Chechnya feel about his characterizations of Russian, especially.

Jim
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