Last week La Russophobe reported, in Publius Pundit, on the outrageous statements of Vladimir Putin about rape made in front of an Israeli diplomatic delegation. This week, he’s still at it. He had two choices when seeking to defend Russia from charges of systemmic corruption and violence; give substantive evidence of how the problems were being addressed or attack Italy. Guess which one he chose? Monsters and Critics reports:
An alleged Mafia jibe directed at Italy by Russian President Vladimir Putin received widespread coverage in the Italian media on Monday and risked straining relations between the two countries.
Speaking during a summit with European Union leaders in Finland, Putin reportedly defended himself from charges that organised crime networks dominate business in his country by noting that ‘the word Mafia was born in Italy, not Russia’, Spain’s El Pays reported on Sunday.
The remark was splashed out on the front pages of Italy’s leading dailies on Monday and drew condemnation from government officials.
‘It was an incredible remark. Instead of speaking nonsense, Putin should explain what has happened with the murder of (Russian journalist Anna) Politkovskaya,’ Italian Foreign Ministry undersecretary Gianni Vernetti told reporters.
Politkovskaya, who was murdered in Moscow on October 7, had repeatedly reported on human rights violations in Chechenya, which is ruled by pro-Kremlin politicians.
While Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s office sought to play down the incident, saying Putin’s remark was meant to be ironic, other lawmakers called on the government to issue a strong reaction.
‘Italy should respond to the serious remarks made by Russian President Putin,’ said Angelo Bonelli of the Green Party, which is a member of Prodi’s centre-left ruling coalition.
Putin had come under fire during the summit over human rights violations in Russia and reportedly also accused many Spanish mayors of being ‘corrupt’.
This is classic Neo-Soviet stuff. Rather than fix a problem, deny that it exists and then attack other countries for being even worse. That is what brought the USSR to its knees. Putin exposes the fact that his educatin is skin deep and his KGB indoctrination goes to the bone.