Mr. Putin dismissed the article as coming from someone who “doesn’t know Russia”.

In a tit-for-tat for President Vladimir Putin’s criticism of U.S. foreign policy in an American newspaper, U.S. Senator McCain penned a column for a Russian online paper accusing the Russian leader of presiding over a repressive and corrupt regime and allying his country with dictators.

“They [Putin and his associates] punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption,” said Mr. McCain in a piece published on the Pravda.ru website on Thursday.

In an Op-ed for The New York Times on September 11, Mr. Putin slammed the U.S. for “relying solely on brute force” in international relations and fostering “American exceptionalism”.

Mr. McCain, a vocal advocate of U.S. military intervention in Syria, fired back at Mr. Putin blasting him for “allying Russia with some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies”.

Asked to comment on Mr. McCain’s article, Mr Putin dismissed it as coming from someone who “doesn’t know Russia”.

“The fact that McCain chose to offer his piece to Pravda, which is no longer a mass-read paper, shows that he suffers from a deficit of information about Russia, that he has poor knowledge of our country,” Mr. Putin said.

In fact, Mr McCain’s knowledge of Russia may be even worse than Mr. Putin suggested.

The Pravda.ru online resource, where the U.S. Senator gave his article, has nothing to do with the Pravda newspaper, which is still a mouthpiece of the Communist Party that it was in Soviet times.

More In: World | International | News