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Putin trolls worldwide Twitter users

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006. AP
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2006. (Mikhail Klimentyev/AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin authored a column appearing in the New York Times this morning, calling for the United States to refrain from military action in Syria. Russia has good reasons for wanting to avert a Western strike, which could put Russian citizens in danger if the conflict expanded across the region or if extremists managed to take control of chemical weapons stockpiles in the chaos.

But the appearance of the column in the Times led to widespread outrage, given Putin's history of disrespect for human rights and international law, as well as confusion, as many readers found themselves agreeing with his argument.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) couldn't take Putin seriously:

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov opened a tirade against the Times as well as Putin with this Tweet:


"Mr. Putin, you are completely nuts," wrote one user:

Others, however, argued that Putin's hypocrisy did not invalidate his argument. The publisher of The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, noted that Putin and President Obama essentially agree on a compromise to resolve the crisis:

Many users said they found Putin convincing:




Others simply criticized Putin for being a sub-par troll. From the account of a self-described feline news junkie:

From writer and Twitter phenomenon Tom Siedell:

Max Ehrenfreund writes for Wonkblog and compiles Wonkbook, a daily policy newsletter. You can subscribe here. Before joining The Washington Post, Ehrenfreund wrote for the Washington Monthly and The Sacramento Bee.



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Max Fisher · September 12, 2013

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