Russian ambassador files lawsuit against Italian newspaper over article suggesting Putin’s death
Russian Ambassador to Italy Sergey Razov filed a lawsuit on Friday against the Italian newspaper La Stampa after it published an analysis suggesting killing Russian President Vladimir Putin as a means of stopping the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The analysis, titled “If killing Putin is the only way out,” said that killing the Russian president might be the only option if all others are exhausted, Reuters reported.
Razov believed that the Italian news outlet was condoning and soliciting a crime to happen from their analysis, according to Reuters.
“Needless to say that this goes against the rules of journalism and morality,” the Russian ambassador told reporters.
But the editor of La Stampa said in a video on its website posted in response that the Russian ambassador’s remarks were hypocritical given Russia’s own history. He also said the conclusion the analysis came to was that killing Putin could worsen the conflict and that killing tyrants was often not productive.
“We do not take lessons from an illiberal regime that slaughters humanity and truth,” Massimo Giannini said, according to Reuters.
The analysis comes as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) received blowback several times for calling for Putin’s assassination.
During a press conference earlier this month, a reporter asked him if he still stood by his previous comments calling on Putin to be killed.
“Yeah, I hope he will be taken out one way or the other,” Graham said.
“I don’t care how they take him out. I don’t care if we send him to the Hague and try him. I just want him to go. Yes, I’m on record,” Graham added. “And if [the late Sen.] John McCain were here, he’d be saying the same thing, I think.”
However, Republicans and the White House have distanced themselves from Graham’s rhetoric, saying it was not a good idea.