“I’m a Judo Master”
Recently, a sneak peek of Oliver Stone's The Putin Interviews from Showtime hit the Internet. In them, Russian President Vladimir Putin made several revealing comments. One particular exchange stands out when Putin was asked about showering next to a gay man in a submarine.
The remarks need to be contextualized by the conversation taking place about gay men serving in the Russian military.
“If you’re taking a shower in a submarine with a man and you know he’s gay, do they have a problem with that?” Stone asked, according to the Daily Beast.
“Well, I prefer not to go to shower with him,” Putin allegedly responded. “Why provoke him? But you know, I’m a judo master and a SAMBO master as well. And I can tell you this, that as head of state today, I believe it’s my duty to uphold traditional values and family values. But why? Because same-sex marriages will not produce any children.”
In the exchange, he went on to say God has “decided” that because LGBT people can’t have children, it’s his presidential duty to “reinforce families.”
“But,” he added, “that doesn’t mean that there should be any persecutions against anyone.”
The comments come to light more than a month after horrific reports have come out of Chechnya where a gay purge is taking place. In May, Mr. Putin approved investigations into what he described as the “rumored” atrocities.
World leaders have spoken out about reports coming out of Chechnya. Last week, France's new president, Emmanuel Macron, met with Putin and strongly challenged him on what's been happening in Russian run Chechnya.
To our knowledge, showers on most submarines are usually tiny and equipped for one person to use them at a time. For all of Mr. Putin’s bravado, he’d have a difficult time using any “Judo” moves on a gay man.