US Reporter Asks Vladimir Putin Why All Of His Political Rivals Are Dead Or In Prison
A US reporter has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to share his comments regarding the fact most of his political rivals are either dead or in prison.
ABC News reporter Rachel Scott was granted the chance to question Putin during a press conference following his meeting with US President Joe Biden. Both leaders were in Geneva for a summit at the time.
‘The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long,’ Scott said. ‘Alexei Navalny’s organization calls for free and fair elections and end to corruption, but Russia has outlawed that organization, calling it extremist and you have now prevented anyone who supports [Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny] to run for office. So my question is, Mr. President, what are you so afraid of?’
Putin responded to Scott by attacking Navalny’s organization – whom he did not name – reiterating that it was an ‘extremist’ group that only wanted to cause ‘mass disorder’ and break laws. He also skated around the question even further by bringing up the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. Putin said the demonstrations caused ‘disorder’ and ‘destruction’, and he does not want to see those types of demonstrations take place in Russia.
Scott, who was then given a chance to ask a follow-up question, continued to press Putin on the topic of why his political rivals have been silenced: ‘You didn’t answer my question, sir. If all your political opponents are dead, in prison, poisoned — doesn’t that send a message that you don’t want a fair political fight?’
Putin’s response was to then focus on the January 6 riot at the US Capitol, falsely suggesting that those arrested for taking part in the attack were no different than his political opponents that have been arrested in Russia.
‘As for who is killing whom and throwing whom in jail, people came to the US Congress with political demands,’ Putin said. ‘They face prison sentences of up to 20, maybe even 25 years… They are being called ‘domestic terrorists.’ They are being accused of a number of other crimes.’
In recent months, Putin’s main political rival Alexei Navalny has been serving his two-and-a-half-year prison sentence after Russia labelled his organization an extremist group. Last year, Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a toxic chemical agent. While the Kremlin has denied the activist’s accusations, US intelligence officials concluded Moscow was behind the attack – just one of several reasons for recent sanctions against Russia.
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