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Putin Saddened by Friends Who Hurt Themselves

A sad Vladimir Putin (Moscow) Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with reporters today to discuss the rash of tragedies surrounding some of his close acquaintances.

"I just don't understand what goes through the minds of depressed people," he said, looking off into the distance. "First Anna [Politkovskaya] throws herself down a stairwell and puts a bullet in her head, then Alexander [Litvinenko] kills himself with polonium-210, and now [former prime minister] Yegor Gaidar - my dear Timosha- tries to off himself. It's just too much."

Putin, visibly moved, recalled how Litvinenko looked in his casket.

"Sasha looked very nice really - he had on a black shirt with a grey collar, matching slacks and black shoes," he said, eyes misting over at the memory. "His hair didn't look quite right and I tried to brush it so it would lay right. But other than that, he looked very peaceful and nice."

Yegor GaidarLeft: Yegor Gaidar, the latest of Putin's friends to try to kill himself

Putin said that he hopes that his public display of angst will help others in his position.

"At first you don't know what to do, what to say - you're just shocked," he said about learning of a friend's suicide. "But it's important to remember one thing - it's not your fault. The easiest thing to do when someone commits suicide is to blame yourself. The first thing that must stop is the 'what ifs,' or why didn't I see it', all that negative self-talk that goes through your head."

Putin also wanted to remind other grieving people about another important fact.

"Always remember - you are never alone. There are always people like me out there, and you can count on us to remember you," he said, wiping away a tear. "No matter how far away we are, you are always in our thoughts."

That Vlady - what a guy!
Thanks for a thoughtful article. It's times like these when you need a true friend.
Putin isn't looking that well himself.

It would be a real shame if came down with the polonium-210 flu.

I hear that it can be a real killer. . .
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