Russian President Vladimir Putin
Seliger, Tver region - Russian President Vladimir Putin has explained his statement against opposition activists using white ribbons as a symbol. I am not against them, but I do consider this a foreign political technology, he said.
"I was not saying that against the people wearing this symbol. I felt sorry for the people who are using the technologies well-practiced somewhere abroad. This is what I was talking about," Putin said at the Seliger 2012 youth forum.
He was responding to a question by a white ribbon-wearing attendee as to why the president spoke "so interestingly" about opposition activists.
"We had to deal with a whole host of various revolutions: the Orange one, the Rose one in Kyrgyzstan and some other revolution," Putin said.
After the December 2011 elections to the State Duma, thousands of people who disagreed with the election results took to the streets of Moscow and other large cities. Many of them were wearing white ribbons as a symbol of a campaign for honest elections. Putin was asked his opinion during a live Q&A session on Dec. 15, 2011. Putin said that initially he perceived white ribbons worn by protestors on Bolotnaya Square as an anti-AIDS symbol.
"Frankly, when I saw on the screen something that someone had on their chest, I'll tell you honestly, though it is indecent, but I decided nevertheless that it was an anti-AIDS propaganda, that those were - pardon me - contraceptives," he said.