Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decided this week to put his bid for yet another “run” on the Internet, where he has been hanging out lately to try to charm his people following December’s huge and quite unified protests in the country. Pleasantly, his website, whose main photo (this one) looks like Putin’s attempt to pose for a Swiss watch ad, was flooded with so many angry comments that the Kremlin community cossack had to temporarily take down the site. And, of course, delete all the comments. But the thing is, says a Putin spokesperson, the people of Russia didn’t mean to be mean. They were just playing “a computer game.” What?
In a Reuters article on the site crash, Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded by denying that the comments had been removed to save face:
All this fuss with calls for resignation is a kind of computer game that children are playing at. It has nothing to do with constructive dialogue.
Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that “the children,” in Russian, is a more complex diminutive term meant to flatter and make the people feel safe. Also “computer game,” perhaps, fine, maybe a reference to hacking, which has been happening to Russian government sites lately.
Luckily, the comments were spared from digital Siberia: Radio Free Europe has gathered a few of the best:
Please leave politics. We understand that power is like a drug, but this would be a dignified act.
I’m tired of you. I’ve already tolerated you for 12 years and it’s still the same. If you win [another term] a lot of my friends are thinking about leaving Russia. Do you need this? Do we? I don’t. I want to live in a normal country. So get out before it[']s too late.
Shockingly, Putin still has a kind of staggering approval rating of 51 percent, as of December. Peskov has no doubt of Putin’s success in the first round of elections:
We are sure that he will be president. We have no doubts about it. Bad are the campaign headquarters staff who do not believe in their candidate’s victory in the first round.
And bad are the children! Stop it with your opinionated Pac-Man games. [Atlantic Wire]