Pravda lashes Tony Abbott as 'disturbed' over threat to shirtfront Vladimir Putin
Russian paper launches colourful broadside at Australian PM, saying he runs the risk of getting his ‘teeth smashed in’
Pravda has described Tony Abbott as “a disturbed mind crying out for
therapy”: after his threat to “shirtfront” the Russian president,
Vladimir Putin, in Brisbane.
Abbott grabbed global headlines for his tough talk ahead of the
Russian leader’s expected attendance at the G20 meeting next month.
He modified his rhetoric on Tuesday but insisted he would hold robust
talks with Putin over the “murder” of 38 Australians when Malaysia
Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine.
In an open letter, published on Pravda, the mouthpiece of the Communist regime in Soviet times, columnist Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey demanded Abbott pull his head in.
“Like any bully there comes a day when you pick on the wrong person,
get your teeth smashed in and go running home to mummy blabbering like a
ninny,” he wrote.
The threat was the “most crass example of stupidity the world has
seen since the USA, the UK and Australia murdered Iraqi civilians in an
illegal and criminal series of war crimes”.
“If you seriously think you can physically confront your guests and
assault a visiting head of state and walk away freely, then you are
mistaken,” he wrote.
He said Abbott had rendered himself liable for prosecution for criminal intent and incitement to violence.
Bancroft-Hinchey warned the Australian leader should not pre-empt the MH17 investigation.
“Wait for the inquiry before making your odious accusations and
sounding like a foul-mouthed, despicable, pith-headed and uncouth,
loutish oaf,” he said.
Pravda has often reflected Putin’s views, but also sometimes opposed him.
In London, Joe Hockey defended Abbott’s comments, saying they
reflected the depth of “anger and understandable emotion” in Australia.
“There is a deep-seated anger across the Australian community about
what happened to the 38 poor souls, who were Australians, that died on
the Malaysia plane in Ukraine, but also to help to find ways to get
justice for the families that lost loved ones,” the treasurer said on
Hockey said he expected talks at the G20 to include the issue of the
economic sanctions that Western nations, including Australia, had placed
on Russia in the wake of the MH17 crash.
“There is no doubt that sanctions are having an impact both ways,” he said.
“Russian sanctions are having an impact on Europe and European,
American and Australian sanctions are having an impact on Russia.
“So if there is a way through the challenge in Ukraine then hopefully
that can be identified either before Brisbane or at Brisbane.”
This article was amended on 15 October to better reflect Pravda’s relationship to the Russian government