MOSCOW — He is credited with commanding a war to crush separatism in Chechnya, approving a full-scale attack on Georgia over a minor border dispute and complaining when NATO led an air war in Libya to stop Moammar Gadhafi from killing thousands of his own people. And he is still selling weapons to the government of President Bashar Assad of Syria.
Nevertheless, seizing on his proposal to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons stockpile and forestalling a missile strike that had been threatened by President Barack Obama, a Russian advocacy group said Tuesday that it had nominated President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Members of the group, called the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, said at a news conference Tuesday that Putin was far more deserving of the peace prize than Obama, who received it in 2009.
"Barack Obama has the title of Nobel Prize winner — the man who initiated and approved such aggressive actions on the part of the United States of America as in Iraq, Afghanistan, some others, and now is preparing for invasion of Syria," said Iosif Kobzon, a popular Russian singer and a member of Parliament. "I think our president, who is trying to stop the bloodshed, who is trying to help to resolve this conflict situation through a political dialogue, through diplomatic language, deserves this title more."