In the aftermath of a terrorist attack against a Russian train, Prime Minister Putin told the press that Russia would "break the spine" of the terrorist threat. It was an evocative phrase, and one that got me thinking about other "Putinisms." We've had "Bushisms" - those malapropisms where the meaning gets wrestled to the ground by the tongue - but Putinisms are different. They're hyper-virile, strikingly crude or, ideally, both.
So I gathered the top five Putinisms. This list is by no means exhaustive, so readers are encouraged to submit their own or quibble with the ranking.
6. "Russia doesn't negotiate with terrorists. Russia destroys them." - Nov. 2005.
5. "If they're in the airport," Putin said, "we'll kill them there … and excuse me, but if we find them in the toilet, we'll exterminate them in their outhouses." - Sept. 1999.
4. Such “rumors,” Putin said, “they picked from a nose and smeared onto their papers.” - Feb. 2008.
3. “You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you by your special place.” - Nov. 2003
1. “If you want to become an Islamic radical and have yourself circumcised, I invite you to come to Moscow. I would recommend that he who does the surgery does it so you’ll have nothing growing back, afterward.” - 2002.