Thank you, Igor.
MOSCOW, June 4 2007-Vladimir Putin has described himself as an "absolute democrat" whose credentials are so pure that he has no peer in the world.
"Of course I am an absolute and pure democrat... the tragedy is that I am the only one, there are simply no others in the world," he told foreign journalists.
"Since the death of Mahatma Gandhi, there has been no one to talk to," he said, in an apparently ironic reference to the Indian independence leader who preached non-violence.
"Look what is happening in North America. The horror: torture, homelessness, Guantanamo, imprisonment without a court or trial," he told the foreign journalists on Friday.
"Look what is happening in Europe: the harsh treatment of demonstrators, the use of rubber bullets, tear gas in one city and then the next, the murder of demonstrators in the streets."
Police have been condemned for using tear gas against protesters in Germany ahead of Wednesday's summit, while Russia has accused Estonian police of a heavy-handed response to recent protests by ethnic Russians in Tallinn in which one protester died.
"And I'm not even talking about the post-Soviet arena," Putin said. "There was one hope, in the guys in Ukraine, but they have completely discredited themselves and events are moving towards sheer tyranny."
In recent months, Russia has been accused by the West of using special forces to clamp down on peaceful protesters in a wide-spread attack on pro-democracy groups in the country. The Group of Eight summit at the Heiligendamm resort on Germany's Baltic Sea coast will bring together the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.