Support The Moscow Times!

McCain Taunts Putin Over Protests

U.S. Senator John McCain has again angered supporters of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin by describing Russia's nascent protest movement as an extension of the Arab Spring uprisings that have shaken and toppled governments across the Middle East.

"Dear Vlad, the #ArabSpring has arrived at a neighborhood near you," the Arizona Republican and former presidential candidate tweeted Sunday. He included a link to a New York Times article about Saturday's opposition protest, which drew tens of thousands.

The tweet provoked a sharp response from at least two senior United Russia officials including Andrei Vorobyov, the leader of the party's Duma faction, who described it as a "provocation," and called on Russians to resist foreign "meddling" from American officials he said were trying to incite revolution.

In a separate commentary on the ruling party's website, Deputy Irina Yarovaya wrote that McCain's tweet was a de facto admission that the United States is exporting "Orange Revolutions."

McCain has directed provocative remarks at Putin in the past. In 2007, he said he saw "K-G-B" in Putin's eyes, and after the first large Duma protest in December, he tweeted to Putin that "the Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you," leading Putin to publicly suggest that McCain was "nuts" after fighting in the Vietnam War.

During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, McCain called for Russia's expulsion from the Group of Eight industrial nations.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.