Two exchange students accepted a Chinese peace prize Friday on behalf of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was honored for enhancing Russia's status and crushing anti-government forces in Chechnya, the prize organizers said.
The Confucius Peace Prize was hastily launched last year as an alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize which had just honored imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The 2011 prize ceremony took place a day before this year's Nobel prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, and as Nobel made new calls for China to release Liu from prison.
The Confucius Peace Prize organization announced last month that Putin had been chosen to receive this year's award, saying that during his 2000-2008 tenure as president Putin "brought remarkable enhancement to the military might and political status of Russia." It also cited Putin's crushing of anti-government forces in Chechnya.Okay, then.