Vladimir Putin: Pox on Russia
In 2004, with an AIDS crisis looming in Russia (where, despite estimates that by 2020 as many as fifteen million people could be infected with HIV, a senior official declared that "we don't have an AIDS policy to discuss"), Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS president John Tedstrom attempted to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to deliver a speech about the disease. Some time later, the Kremlin asked Tedstrom to provide some text for Putin to include in his annual State of the Nation address. Tedstrom was thrilled. When the speech was delivered however, Putin did not warn of an AIDS epidemic. He did, however, find time to issue a different warning: to foreign human-rights organizations to stay out of Russia's business.