Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) penned a scathing op-ed critiquing Russian president Vladimir Putin’s oppressive rule, and succeeded in getting it published in a prominent Russian newspaper. However, it might not have been the paper he initially wanted.
According to Politico, “The Arizona Republican published his anti-Putin piece on Pravda.ru on Thursday, an English and Russian news website that was founded in 1999. But McCain said he was hoping to publish in the Communist newspaper Pravda, meaning “truth” in Russian, which was founded in 1912. That publication, after being banned when the Soviet Union collapsed, was rekindled and is still circulated by today’s Russian Communist Party. Pravda.ru and the paper are unrelated media outlets, except for the name.”
A spokesman for Sen. McCain said Thursday the senator submitted the op-ed to both publications and hoped both would run it, refusing to refer to one as the right or wrong paper. Sen. McCain then told reporters that the Communist one was the Pravda he hoped would publish his piece, but the editor refused to do so unless the senator amended it to support the policy of Pres. Putin regarding Syria.
Sen. McCain’s op-ed, titled “Russians deserve better than Putin,” was a response to Pres. Putin’s own piece in The New York Times last week, which criticized American exceptionalism and argued against American intervention in Syria.
Sen. McCain, a long-time critic of Russia and Pres. Putin fired back, writing:
"A Russian citizen could not publish a testament like the one I just offered. 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. To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption."