Former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev said he’s “ashamed” of Vladimir Putin, following the Russian prime minister’s 4 1/2-hour televised rant last week.
Gorbachev made his comments to a Russian opposition paper, slamming Putin for his response to the ongoing massive demonstrations the country has seen. Putin — who is expected to win back the Russian presidency next year — had mocked the protesters calling for an end to his rule, sarcastically saying he thought they were an anti-AIDS campaign looked like they had pinned condoms to their chests. Putin also called Arizona Sen. John McCain “nuts” during the same appearance.
“This is shameful. And embarrassing. I, for example, am ashamed,” Gorbachev said of Putin, according to the Telegraph.
“I feel tied to Putin in the sense that at first, when he came to power, I actively supported him everywhere, both here and abroad. And now look,” he added.
Gorbachev, 80, also had harsh words for outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, saying he thought Medvedev wrecked his credibility by not having a stronger response to election fraud allegations.
“He said he had no complaints or doubts about the elections. And with that, Dmitry Anatolyevich I think pulled the curtain down on his career,” Gorbachev said.
Gorbachev has become increasingly vocal in criticizing the Kremlin, though the personal attack against Putin represents his strongest criticism yet, the Telegraph reported.