Beleaguered Putin Lashes Out at McCain

Vladimir Putin used a 4.5 hour televised call-in session Thursday to redirect bubbling public ire over recent elections. Deflecting negative attention onto the U.S., the prime minister followed up his previous accusation that Hillary Clinton orchestrated Russian protests with a claim that U.S. Special Forces killed Khaddafy. "Sometimes it seems to me that America does not need allies, it needs vassals. People are tired of the dictates of one country," he said. On Saturday, tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets to protest results from a Dec. 4 parliamentary vote, which gave Putin's party a slim victory and fueled suspicions of election fraud. Putin also came down on John McCain who warned "Vlad" in a tweet, that the Arab Spring was creeping toward Russia. "Mr McCain fought in Vietnam," Putin said. "They kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years … Anyone (in his place) would go nuts." He held firm on his party's victory and said there would not be an election rerun, though he offered to install web cams in polling stations for the March 4 presidential race he hopes to win.

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