Claim: Text reproduces an open letter to Americans from Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, August 2013]
A letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the American people has been circulating around the internet for the past couple of days. In the letter, Putin
How do I put this politely? You Americans are dumb. Today, Russia and America are fighting each other over fighting the Muslim radicals. Instead, we should be uniting to crush these violent Islamists, once and for all.
You Americans want to remove my ally, the Syrian leader Bashar
So if you want to destroy him, what are you going to give me in return? If your answer is, “We will give you nothing,” well, why would I ever agree to that? That’s not negotiation, that’s dictation; it’s a return to the bad Yeltsin days, when Holy Mother Russia was pushed into the mud like a used whore.
[Remainder of the letter can be viewed here.]
Origins: This “open letter” from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Americans, putatively expressing that politician’s viewpoints on U.S. military intervention in the Syrian civil war and other international matters, was published on breitbart.com on
title “LET’S JOIN ONE ANOTHER TO CRUSH THE UNHOLY, UNRULY, JIHADI MUSLIMS” and attributed to Vladimir Putin. Many readers who encountered this item on that site (and elsewhere) mistook its attribution and first person tone as an indication that the piece was actually written by President Putin himself.
Even though this item may have been cast in the first person and mockingly bylined as something penned by “Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,” it’s not an actual open letter to Americans written by the Russian president. It’s a political opinion piece that uses a “literary ventriloquism” device through which an author expresses his viewpoint by putting his words into someone else’s mouth — highlighting what the writer wants the audience to understand by presenting the author’s words as another person’s, as if the audience were “inside the mind of” that other person.
Coincidentally, nine days later the New York Times published a (much more temperate)
Last updated: 12 September 2013