http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/358649

McCain offers blistering retort to Putin in Pravda Op-Ed piece

Posted Sep 19, 2013 by Michael Krebs
In an unusually public exchange between senior Russian and American government leaders, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) appeared in Pravda in an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Sen. John McCain shown speaking on  Fox News Sunday
Sen. John McCain shown speaking on "Fox News Sunday"
screenshot via YouTube
After Russian President Vladimir Putin's controversial open letter to the American people was published on The New York Times web site on September 11, a number of American politicians expressed their outrage at Putin's criticism of U.S. involvement in the Syrian civil war and of American exceptionalism in general.
In an unusually public retort to the Russian president, Senator John McCain submitted a letter of his own to the Russia's Pravda news service, suggesting openly that Russians deserve a better leader than President Putin.
"I am not anti-Russian," McCain began. "I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today."
McCain then went on to address Putin's suppression of freedoms and dignity that the senator suggested the Russian people deserve.
"A Russian citizen could not publish a testament like the one I just offered," McCain 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. 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."
McCain focused the opinion piece squarely on Putin, whereas Putin's open letter examined American interventionism in general terms. The McCain op-ed was published on Thursday, and the Russian public reaction remained unclear.