Putin: Thug AND Petty Thief?


I don’t know why this surprises me because it’s about the leaders of what by so many accounts is a vicious kleptocapitalist thugocracy. This story, though, should be a scene in a grade-B mafia movie.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed the real story behind a 2005 meeting with Vladimir Putin, during which the Russian president pocketed [stole] his Super Bowl ring, worth more than $25,000. [italics added] Kraft, at the time, claimed the diamond-encrusted bauble was a gift, but he now admits Putin stole it, and the White House intervened when he demanded it back.

Kraft explained … “I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,’ ” [italics added] Kraft told the crowd at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

Kraft released a statement at the time, “President Putin, a great and knowledgeable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness. I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and [his] leadership.

But Kraft really wanted the 4.94-carat bauble back, he said Thursday, admitting he’d gotten a call from the George W. Bush-run White House, saying, “‘It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.” (In fact the Soviet Union had collapsed 14 years earlier.)

But, Kraft said, “I really didn’t [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I don’t want to see it on eBay. There was a pause on the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, ‘It would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present.’ ” The ring is now reportedly kept in the Kremlin library.

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About Mike
A resident of the “30 square miles surrounded by reality,” I spend most of my time teaching economics and statistics to undergraduate students. I enjoy, naturally, economics and business, but also science (I was once an astronomical observatory assistant), politics, photography, food, travel and sports. Madison has grown quite a bit since 1978 when Governor Lee Dreyfus made that remark. According to Wikipedia, Madison is 67.3 square miles of land and 16 square miles of water. Visit http://thisgotmyattention.wordpress.com/about/ for one of my favorite views of the isthmus. Or, why not come visit us! http://visitmadison.com

2 Responses to Putin: Thug AND Petty Thief?

  1. Pingback: Delusional megalomaniac, Putin, says the US is guided by “Rule of the Gun” | This Got My Attention

  2. Pingback: Putin caught a whopper? Nah, he’s caught IN a whopper! | This Got My Attention

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