Putin’s 4 hottest takes in Vladivostok speech
As Russian president awaits arrival of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s armored train, he delivers a scattergun address.
Vladimir Putin’s been shooting his mouth off again.
The belligerent Russian president was back on the warpath Tuesday in Vladivostok, firing off hot takes about Donald Trump, Elon Musk, the Olympics and Britain’s help for Ukraine.
Speaking at the pauper’s version of the World Economic Forum in Russia’s Far East, Putin pontificated on all sorts of topics, while he waited for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to arrive on his armored train.
We took the temperature of Putin’s latest remarks.
“Everything that is happening with Trump, this is persecution for political reasons of one’s political rival,” Putin blasted.
Take that, American judiciary!
For Putin, the four criminal cases against former President Donald Trump — who faced scrutiny over his personal ties to Russia during his time in the White House — are nothing but a witch hunt, showing “the rottenness of the American political system.”
That’s quite a take for the Russian president, who has made a habit of relentlessly crushing political opponents, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny who has been locked up for decades in a Russian maximum security prison.
Interestingly, Trump used a similar line to defend himself after he was arraigned over his efforts to overturn the 2020 U.S. election results, which he called “a persecution of a political opponent.”
Elon Musk is “an outstanding person” and “an active, talented businessman.”
The Russian president saved some praise for another American citizen, South-African born entrepreneur Elon Musk, who got a Kremlin pat on the back for his business acumen.
While this may be true for Musk’s early years, when he made billions from building or investing in companies like Tesla or PayPal, Musk has since then thrown billions of dollars out the window with his tumultuous takeover of X (formerly Twitter).
Roughly a year after he bought the platform, X has lost 90 percent of its value, by Musk’s own admission.
Musk has been criticized by senior Ukrainian officials over the last year for occasionally restricting access to his Starlink satellite internet service, which the Ukrainian military relies on for its operations — which might be one reason for Putin’s admiration.
On Paris 2024 Olympics
“Next year we will hold the Friendship Games,” Putin added. “We will hold competitions within the BRICS framework, everyone will be happy to participate in this … This will accordingly kill today’s international structures.”
Moscow’s involvement at next year’s Paris 2024 Olympics has been a political hot potato this year, with Ukraine demanding the Russians are kicked out of the Games and French President Emmanuel Macron saying that, even if the Russians are there, their flags won’t be.
Putin has a solution to the diplomatic cold shoulder: create his own version of the Olympics! The Friendship Games — first organized in 1984 by the Soviet Union and long since disappeared — will be held next fall, after the Paris Olympics.
“The International Olympic Committee itself, they are distorting the original idea of Pierre de Coubertin — sport should be outside of politics. It should not divide, but unite people,“ Putin said, as rationale for his sports separatism.
Putin also claimed that the Russian security services captured several Ukrainian saboteurs, whose mission was to damage Russian nuclear power plants.
During the investigation, Russia allegedly discovered that the saboteurs were “trained under the guidance of British instructors,” though Putin did not back up this claim with evidence.
Putin has never hesitated to target his own enemies in Britain. Russia was sanctioned in 2018 for poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia on English soil, while Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London in 2006.
Now he’s poking the Brits again.
“The British intelligence leadership knows that I’m telling the truth. But I’m not sure if the British leadership understands what this is.” Putin said according to Russian media.