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Vladimir Putin wins Confucius Prize

The Confucius Prize — the award established last year by a Chinese Think Tank to compete with the Nobel Prize — has been awarded to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this year: It praised his decision to go to war in Chechnya in 1999. “His iron hand and toughness revealed in this war impressed the ...

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images
LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images

The Confucius Prize — the award established last year by a Chinese Think Tank to compete with the Nobel Prize — has been awarded to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this year:

It praised his decision to go to war in Chechnya in 1999.

“His iron hand and toughness revealed in this war impressed the Russians a lot, and he was regarded to be capable of bringing safety and stability to Russia,” read an English version of the committee’s statement. “He became the anti-terrorist No. 1 and the national hero.”

So went the announcement by a group of 16 patriotic scholars awarding what they call their second annual “grass-roots” peace prize.

The sponsors also cited Putin’s opposition to the NATO intervention in Libya and "for being selected to join the K.G.B. while in college, “which made true his teenage dream of joining the K.G.B.,” and for “acting as the propagandist of current political events” while in high school.""

The first awarding of the prize was a bit of a catastrophe last year, when the winner, former Taiwanese Vice President Lien Chan, was never informed that he had won, and the statue and prize money were instead handed to a little girl with no relation to him. No word yet on whether Putin will be on hand to pick up his award.

Putin was also due to receive a prize for democracy promotion from a German foundation this year, but it was eventually canceled after a media uproar.  He beat out Bill Gates, Angela Merkel, Jacob Zuma, Kofi Annan, and the (Beijing-approved) Panchen Lama for the Confucius Award. 

 Twitter: @joshuakeating

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