News / Europe

    Social Media Erupts Over Putin Article

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, enters a hall during a meeting outside Moscow on Sept. 3, 2013.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, enters a hall during a meeting outside Moscow on Sept. 3, 2013.
    VOA News
    Social media erupted with criticism after Russian President Vladimir Putin appealed in a New York Times article to the American people for support of his Syria policy.

    In an opinion piece, Putin urged caution against any unilateral action against Syria, arguing it could undermine the authority of the United Nations.

    The Russian leader said it is "alarming" that military intervention in foreign countries' "internal conflicts" has become "commonplace" for the United States. Putin cited the conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq as examples.

    U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez said Putin's article made him almost want to "vomit." In an interview with CNN, Menendez said it made him question the seriousness of Russia's Syria proposal.

    On Twitter, Republican Senator John McCain called Putin's article "an insult to the intelligence of every American."



    The article prompted a flurry of other responses on the social media site.

    A Pennsylvania man posted a "Tweet," saying whoever gave Putin space in the New York Times should be fired because the article contains "a lot of lies."

    A London man said the Russian president "lecturing" the United States about international law and democracy was a reflection of the "absolutely surreal times we live in."

    But a New York woman said she appreciated that Putin spoke directly to the American people. She said the Russian president gave a perspective that she did not have before.

    "Isolated and alone"

    Andrew Weiss, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in an interview with VOA that Putin's message did not resonate with the American people.  Weiss also served as a National Security Council Russia expert under former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

    "There is too much kind of carping at President Obama; too much sense that it is the U.S. that is acting like an aggressor and is violating all of these principles of international law that Russia cherishes," Weiss said.

    But Brookings Institution Russia analyst Clifford Gaddy disagreed. The co-author of "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin" said the Russian leader made a compelling case for his country's priorities and took advantage of U.S. indecisiveness on Syria.

    "He is just really taking advantage of the opening that U.S. policy on the wavering now, and public sentiment worldwide against U.S. military strikes has offered him. I think he did it pretty well," Gaddy said.

    Russia has been trying to convince the Obama administration to back its diplomatic initiative as a response to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons. However, the United States has not ruled out military strikes.

    Pentagon spokesman George Little said Putin was "isolated and alone" for asserting in the article that the Syrian opposition was most likely responsible for last month's alleged chemical weapons attack.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: maria from: philippines
    September 13, 2013 6:20 PM
    pres,putin is the first russian pres to use the blog.now its about time for him to accept our reply,from the people of the earth.sir, its funny that after many years as un top member,its impossible to believe that your country does not know about syrias chemical weapon.haha.just like saying i dont know anything about my spouse!we can admit that pres, obama is rather slow and indecisive but you have your faults also for not letting the united nation to check assads chemical weapon!now your govt together with pres, obama will have to find a way to destroy assads weapon.both of yoiur country need to act together .assad is not woth the lives of the planet.no need to remove him from office.he will just fade away slowly.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    September 13, 2013 10:58 AM
    “I was insulted”, “I felt like I wanted to vomit”. John McCain added that “we have respected him much more than he deserves.” Yeah, these were exact words of some US lawmakers referring to Vladimir Putin’s direct address to the US populace. Putin sees this as payback time. The words of Ronald Regan must still have been nagging him since his days at the KGB – think he feels nostalgic, maybe he misses the services. But one thing he may not be missing is the Ronald Regan’s direct address to Mr. Putin’s then president, Mr. Gorbachev, whom he asked to “collapse the walls” of the iron curtain. Putin must have waited for this payback opportunity. Now he can retire in peace, a fulfilled man.

    Maybe it’s time for the Americans to admit that their president may have so much going for him, maybe in the past, but current issues, especially in the Middle East, are showing him in retreat – in reverse gear. I listened to one of the debaters say, “if we are going to be deterred by… Syria, if we are going to be deterred by Hezbollah, then America is done for”. Assad became so emboldened by the fact that the US has no purposeful, powerful or forceful leadership at the moment, by the fact that Russia is now in the driving seat, to set his own red line: Obama must stop the use of threat before Syria will continue with the issue of chemical weapons disarmament.

    O yeah, and why not? North Korea just fell in line and took a cue. Pyongyang has restarted its nuclear program. The Iranian foreign minister is cheeky with what he says is Iran’s right to nuclear program. All thanks…, no thanks to the one and only president Obama whom Americans love to make what he is not, a successful president. Failing to be a tail blazer, would he not have fallen in line with previous presidents to see that America is respected? I appreciate some Americans admitting their ordinariness, but the drift seems to go below level. Don’t know how lower it will sink before the end of this spineless regime!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.