Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Putin criticises opposition leaders

Russia's President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in a first-person documentary aired on his 60th birthday that the current generation of opposition leaders needs to be cast aside.

The documentary, aired on Sunday, casts Mr Putin as a tireless and no-nonsense leader contemptuous of domestic and international criticism.

It also depicts a simple lifestyle of daily exercise, plain breakfasts and late-night work sessions.

Mr Putin says in the programme that he welcomes opposing views, but that they should come from people willing to take responsibility for running the country.

His dismissive remarks addressed at the opposition will reconsolidate anxiety over his perceived disregard for pluralism in Russia.

Celebrations took place across Russia to mark Mr Putin's birthday, although the Kremlin said the president himself opted for low-key celebrations with friends and family.

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