Sen. John McCain published a scathing op-ed against Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russian news outlet Pravda.ru Thursday, saying he rules by "corruption, repression and violence."
"President Putin and his associates...don't respect your dignity or accept your authority over them," the Arizona Republican wrote to the Russian people. "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."
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) wrote a scathing response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's op-ed in The New York Times. (AP photos)
McCain -- who famously declared during the 2008 presidential campaign that when he looked in Putin's eyes he "saw three letters: K-G-B" -- had vowed to write an op-ed in response to Putin's piece last week in The New York Times.
McCain said Putin has allied "Russia with some of the world's most offensive and threatening tyrannies" including "supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power."
"President Putin doesn't...believe in you. He doesn't believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn't believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence. He rules for himself, not you," McCain wrote.
McCain's op-ed was published two days after House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) also wrote a response to Putin in a Moscow newspaper.
McCain's op-ed in Pravda.ru ran alongside an unsigned editorial accusing the U.S. of hypocrisy in Syria.
Read McCain's full op-ed at Pravda.ru.