Remember when he joked about Peter Wallsten of the Los Angeles Times wearing sunglasses indoors - apparently not realizing that Mr. Wallsten is blind?
Remember earlier this year when he referred to UK companies as "Great British compan(ies)".
Well, lately Putin has been making Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar. If he keeps this up, we'll have to define a new category of crude jokes and remarks to diplomats as "Putinisms".
Of course, Russians are familiar with Putin making strong, borderline rude statements. It just seems that recently his tongue has become particularly unhinged. Starting with his lack of remarks and then boorishly sedated remarks regarding the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. His statements might reflect his true state of mind, but that doesn't mean that as a leader and diplomat, that he isn't obligated to assuage people's fears and concerns. To not do so is coarse behavior and bad politics.
Then there was the statements reportedly caught on microphone, regarding the Israeli Presidents criminal charges for rape and sexual abuse. Привет передайте своему президенту. Оказался очень мощный мужик. Десять женщин изнасиловал. Я никогда не ожидал от него. Он нас всех удивил. Мы все ему завидуем. (Hello to your President. There was very powerful muzhik! Ten women has raped. I never expected from him. It has surprised all of us. All of us are envious.)
Today in Finland, we have the following remarks that were caught by the European news media:
Speaking during a summit with European Union leaders in Finland, Putin reportedly defended himself from charges that organised crime networks dominate business in his country by noting that 'the word mafia was born in Italy, not Russia', Spain's El Pays reported Sunday. The remark was splashed out on the front pages of Italy's leading dailies Monday and drew condemnation from government officials.Some other famous phrases and comments by Vladimir Vladimirovich:
'It was an incredible remark. Instead of speaking nonsense, Putin should explain what has happened with the murder of (Russian journalist Anna) Politkovskaya,' Italian Foreign Ministry undersecretary Gianni Vernetti told reporters. [...]
While Prime Minister Romano Prodi's office sought to play down the incident, saying Putin's remark was meant to be ironic, other lawmakers called on the government to issue a strong reaction. 'Italy should respond to the serious remarks made by Russian President Putin,' said Angelo Bonelli of the Green Party, which is a member of Prodi's centre-left ruling coalition.
Putin had come under fire during the summit over human rights violations in Russia and reportedly also accused many Spanish mayors of being 'corrupt'.
- When the news conference had been running for two and a half hours, Putin suggested a toilet break. "I don't suppose anyone put on a nappy (diaper) when they were dressing for this meeting so we should start winding this up," he said.
- "These people deserve one, very brief, response: 'To hell with you,'" Putin said when talking about critics of Russia who he said were still living in the Soviet past.
- "Sorry to be crude but we did not pick these prices out of our nose," Putin said when explaining why Russia raised the cost of the natural gas it exports to its neighbour, Ukraine.
- Promising tough action against insurgents opposed to Moscow's rule in Chechnya, then-prime minister Putin said in 1999: "If we catch them in the toilet, then we'll wipe them out in the outhouse."
- "If you really want to become an Islamist radical and go as far as getting yourself circumcised, I recommend you come to Moscow ... we'll do it so that nothing ever grows there," Putin told a journalist after an EU-Russia summit in Brussels in 2002.
- "Why can't we do things (like EU countries)? Because, pardon my language, we spend our time chewing snot and scoring political points," Putin said in 2003.