Western media bashing of Putin’s circle boomerangs – pres admin head to RT

Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Ivanov. (RIA Novosti/Ramil Sitdikov)
Recent accusations of corruption flung by Western media at those close to Vladimir Putin are desperate attempts to get at the Russian President, the head of the presidential administration Sergey Ivanov told RT.

Ivanov says he has been following US and British newspapers for over three decades now, and has observed a certain trend in the last “couple of years”: “I noticed there’s a sort of blacklisting process... mostly in the American and British papers which I respected for quite a long time. I often read articles saying that President Putin and his ‘cronies’ - the language is not mine, but the papers’ - are fully corrupted, connected with criminality, they have huge profits which they successfully hide, and things like that.”

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Ivanov says he has observed a number of attributes, which, if the media trends are to be believed, are necessary to make it into Putin’s “corrupted inner circle”: “They usually say that the close associates of Mr. Putin are those who were born in St. Petersburg. Some of them are from the KGB.”

“I think I am a good example of that. I was born in St. Petersburg. I met President Putin some 40 years ago. I served in the KGB for 25 years... and I’m proud of that, by the way.” Mr. Ivanov then said he has been close to Putin for many years, listing the posts he has held over time: “I was national security advisor, I was defense minister, I was first vice prime minister, now I’m the chief of [Putin’s] administration.”

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He then challenged anyone to face him with any accusation they might have: “If there are any allegations concerning me personally, please put them forward. Where am I corrupt? Where are my huge profits? Where are my houses in the UK or the United States? It’s easy to prove.”

Sergey Ivanov says he can vouch for many at the top of the Russian administration. “I know a lot of people who are close to Putin. For example, Foreign Minister Lavrov is my good friend. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The head of the Internal Security Agency Mr Bortnikov. The present National Security Advisor Mr Patrushev. I can vouch for them. I have known them for years, as well as I know President Putin.”

All of the accusations against Russia’s political elite are aimed at one thing, Mr. Ivanov believes: “To convince Russians that the ruling circle of Russia is wrong. But I am absolutely sure that this would never work.”

“The chief aim of course is the president,”
Mr. Ivanov points out. “But since there’s no evidence, they try to broaden the circle and say that anyone [laughs] who was born in St. Petersburg, who was in the KGB and is now close to Putin, is corrupt.” He says the dubious publications discredit the papers themselves. “Those newspapers which published such rubbish can’t be respected by those who are serious enough to analyze the information.”

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The latest example of such “media attacks” against Vladimir Putin were requests inquiring about the president’s alleged connections to a co-owner of major oil trading company Gunvor made by a London newspaper and a US media outlet to the presidential press service.

The terms used in those letters, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, were akin to an “interrogation” and an “ultimatum.” The two requests, Peskov said, were worded so similarly that it raised suspicions of a coordinated campaign. He declined to name the outlets that sent them, saying that doing so would badly damage their reputations.
”This slander has been made up very loosely,” he said. “We cannot treat it seriously.”