Russian President Vladimir Putin has always had — let’s go with “problematic” — views on women, but some of his latest comments in a new documentary are exceptionally offensive.
In a four-part series that will air on Showtime June 12 through 15, American filmmaker Oliver Stone talks to Putin about a range of subjects, from the president’s daily routine to his account of Edward Snowden’s defection to Russia.
When Stone asked Putin if he ever had bad days, Putin said being a man meant he did not have to worry about this. “I am not a woman, so I don’t have bad days. I am not trying to insult anyone. That’s just the nature of things. There are certain natural cycles,” Putin told the director, according to Bloomberg News, which has seen an advance version of the documentary.
Putin also used the interview to deny there was any persecution of gay people in Russia. When asked whether he would be comfortable showering next to a gay man, he said no.
“I prefer not to go to the shower with him. Why provoke him? But you know, I’m a judo master,” said Putin, laughing.
In one of the more curious moments in the interview, Putin appeared to change the story of how Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower, ended up in Moscow. “Our first contact with Mr Snowden was in China,” said Putin, according to Bloomberg. “We were told back then that this was a person who wanted to fight against violations of human rights.”
The clips released so far from Stone’s interviews also see Putin musing on life and philosophy. “They say those who are destined to be hanged are not going to drown,” said Putin, when asked by Stone if he worried about assassination attempts.
Putin also gave an interview to the NBC host, Megyn Kelly, over the weekend, in which he again denied any Russian interference in the US election.