Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Putin Turns on the Charm

Putin committed a faux pas recently--he told the truth and said way too much in the process:

At a summer camp north of Moscow attended by youth vetted and groomed by Kremlin-sponsored organizations, Russian President Vladimir Putin was warmly welcomed when he visited recently, taking questions from campers, including one about Kazakhstan.

After complimenting longtime leader Nursultan Nazarbayev, Putin then insulted him, dismissing the history of Central Asia’s largest country.

“He created a state in a territory that had never had a state before,” Putin said during the Aug. 29 visit, according to a Kremlin transcript. "The Kazakhs never had any statehood. He created it.”

Ah yes, all your Slavs are belong to us!

The comment reached Kazakhstan:

The comment touched a major nerve in Kazakhstan, where Russian actions in Ukraine are being watched with fear and where ethnic Russians make up nearly one-quarter of the population.

Touched a major nerve, eh? You think?

Look, I have limited sympathy for the Kazakh government which has played footsy with Russia. If Russia wants to play in Kazakhstan's backyard, I say have at it.

Sorry to throw Kazakhstan under the bus, but I've got bigger things to worry about.