Putin denies he is returning Russia to Stalinism
MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was not returning Russia to the era of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and denied any political motive in the prosecution and jailing of opponents.
In response to a question from a liberal journalist at his annual phone-in, Putin said he saw "no element of Stalinism" in the country since his return to the presidency last May.
He said Russia must never return to the cult of personality, repressions and labour camps under Stalin, who controlled the Soviet Union for three decades until his death in 1953, but that this did not mean Russia should not have order and discipline.
"Nobody is putting anyone behind bars for their political views," Putin added in reply to a question about the jailing last year of two female members of the Pussy Riot protest group and the trial of protest leader Alexei Navalny on theft charges.
He said he was certain that Navalny, an anti-corruption campaigner and organiser of anti-Putin protests who could face up to 10 years in prison, would have a fair trial.
(Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Malaysia Airlines plane missing at sea off Vietnam, presumed crashed
- Hollywood blockbuster 'Noah' faces ban in Arab world
- UPDATE 3-U.S. FDA probes cognitive impact of new cholesterol drugs
- IndiGo plane evacuated after rear wheel catches fire in Nepal
- CORRECTED-UPDATE 4-Malaysia Airlines plane crashes in South China Sea with 239 people aboard - report
PLANE GOES MISSING
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew went missing over the South China Sea on Saturday, presumed crashed, as ships and planes from countries closest to its flight path scoured a large search area for any wreckage. Full Article
"Everything is fine", Pistorius told guard after shooting girlfriend. Full Article