Putin Wants George Soros Dead or Alive-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a bounty for George Soros and wants the billionaire philanthropist “dead or alive.”

The Truth:

Vladimir Putin and George Soros have a rocky relationship, but there’s no indication that Putin has placed a bounty on Soros.

Rumors that Putin wants Soros dead or alive appear to circle back to an August 2016 report that appeared at the fringe website Your News Wire. The report appears under the headline, “Vladimir Putin: George Soros is Wanted ‘Dead or Alive,’” yet there’s no mention of a bounty issued by Putin, or of Russia pursuing criminal charges against Soros, in the body of the article.

Also, Your News Wire is not a reputable news source. The site carries a sweeping disclaimer that states the site makes “no representations about the suitability, reliability, availability, timeliness and accuracy of information” on the site.

Still, the false report that Putin has declared Soros a wanted man, “dead or alive,” has since been re-reported on countless fringe websites. Again, none of those reports provide sources to back up those claims. Rather, they often cite unrelated reports that Soros’ anti-communism charities being banned from Russia, and that Soros said Putin was a bigger menace to the European Union than ISIS.

And those reports are true, but there’s nothing in them that suggest Putin has placed a bounty on Soros’ head. And Russia has not listed Soros as “wanted” on criminal charges or for extradition with Interpol.

Soros’ pro-democracy charities Open Society Foundations (OSF) and Open Society Institute (OSI) were placed a “stop list” of foreign non-government organizations whose activities were deemed “undesirable” by the Russian government in November 2015, according to a press statement:

“It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state.”

Then, in October 2016, Soros accused Putin of “heinous crimes against humanity” in Syria. A statement posted by Soros on one of his sites reads:

The world is witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe of historic proportions. It is happening in Syria. It is being perpetrated by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, in support of his protégé, Bashar al-Assad. Russian planes are bombing the civilian population of Aleppo, the country’s second-largest city, to assist Syrian government forces that are attempting to take control of rebel-held areas of the city.

The combined assault has, among other things, killed hundreds of people and wounded over a thousand, put the city’s remaining hospitals out of commission, and deprived the population of drinking water.

President Putin is moving aggressively to exploit the three months between now and the January 20 U.S. presidential inauguration, based on a callous political calculation. As the New York Times puts it: “Mr. Putin calculates that the departing President Obama will be unlikely to intervene in the escalating Syrian conflict and a new American president who might consider a tougher policy will not yet be in office. ‘Putin is in a hurry before the American elections,’ said Nikolai V. Petrov, a political scientist in Moscow. ‘The next American president will face a new reality and will be forced to accept it.'”

And, earlier in 2016, Soros called Putin a bigger threat to Europe’s existence than ISIS, the Guardian reports.

So, it’s clear that Putin and Soros have an icy relationship. But there’s no indication that Putin has placed a bounty on Soros, seeking him “dead or alive.”

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