Vladimir Putin, the neo-Stalinist thug who runs Russia, has this to say about Israel’s embattled president, Moshe Katsav:
President Vladimir Putin made joking references to the sexual assault accusations against Israeli President Moshe Katsav during a meeting with the visiting Israeli prime minister in remarks that shocked longtime Kremlin-watchers.
A Kremlin spokesman said Friday that Putin’s meaning had been lost in translation from Russian to English.
As Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with the Russian leader in an ornate reception room in the Kremlin on Wednesday, reporters overheard Putin tell him: "Say hello to your president. He really surprised us."
The microphones were then cut off, but a member of the Israeli delegation told The Associated Press that Putin went on to say of Katsav: "I met him. He didn’t look like a guy who could be with 10 women."
The Israeli ambassador quipped, "It seems like he’s envious of him," and Olmert told his host: "I wouldn’t envy him," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press.
Russia’s Kommersant daily conveyed a more graphic version of the conversation, quoting Putin as saying: "He turns out to be a really powerful guy! He raped 10 women!" It also quoted Putin himself as saying "We all envy him."
Earlier this week, Israeli police recommended that Katsav be charged with rape, aggravated sexual assault and misconduct after women who once worked for him filed complaints. The 60-year-old has denied any wrongdoing but the scandal has rocked Israel and sparked calls for his resignation from the largely ceremonial post…