“To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption,” Mccain wrote.
Mr McCain said the Russian president was undermining his country’s reputation through support for Syria’s government in the face of the West’s outrage over its alleged use of chemical weapons.
“How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies.
“By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities.
“By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world’s attention.
“He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world.”
Pravda, which published the article, is largely confined to online publishing after decades of downsizing since the end of the Soviet era during which it acted as the official mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party.