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I think well of Putin. Christopher Jones does not He writes: "Elections do not prove that democracy exists or a stamp make a bloody monster a civilized leader (Hitler really did win those popular referenda;- and Saddam's latest elections??) -- I see nothing democratic about Putin's Russia as long as it continues to destroy the last vestiges of Chechen culture and reduce the innocents to paupers. Following in Yeltsin's footsteps, he has perpetrated a genocidal war against these poor people. His outburst in Copenhagen, where he threatened a Le Monde reporter with castration was a revealing glimpse into this highly dangerous individual. Happily for all of us, André Glucksman, the French philosopher has led the assault against media complaisance with Putin and the situation in Russia/Chechnya. If it were not for natural gas and Lukoil, I would expect that Yeltsin and his alter ego, Putin would stand trial in Den Haag for real and true crimes against humanity".

RH: By "stamp" does Christopher mean a postage stamp? Which stamps? Yeltsin might be tried for being drunk and disorderly, but what crime against humanity? In Chechnya the crime of both Yeltsin and Putin? I take a dim view of the leaders of the Chechnya rebellion. Have I got Russian current history all wrong? Perhaps.

Ronald Hilton - 1/8/03