This is Fox News, of all places:
I know that Putin isn’t exactly a “good guy,” but my word do I love these quotes from him. They’re both awesome and hysterical. He’s a world leader who is really a movie character. “To forgive the terrorists is up to god, to send them to him is up to me.” Who talks like that? PUTIN DOES!
Well, no, he doesn’t actually.
This quote’s been going viral in various forms (“To forgive the terrorists is God’s job, to send them to him is mine”, “It’s not up to me to forgive the terrorists, it’s up to me to send them to God so he can forgive them etc.”) all day.
In fact it turned out to be a bit of mis-reporting, and the original RT reporter who tweeted it has since explained and apologised.
If you’ve spent any time following Putin’s public pronouncements you’ll probably have suspected as much. While he is undoubtedly the bigest badass on the international stage at the moment, most of the things he actually says are pretty rambling and distracted.
On the other hand, there’s also another possible hommage hidden in there that actually makes it a little more plausible that Putin may have said it, somewhere down the line. The line happens to be vaguely reminiscent of another quotation that’ll be familiar to any literate Russian (but possibly not to the sort of people who enjoy Denzel Washington movies and reposting this stuff online): “Moi, je serai autocrate: c’est mon métier. Et le bon Dieu me pardonnera: c’est son métier.” (“I shall be an autocrat: that’s my job. God will forgive me: that’s his job.” – Catherine the Great)
Putin has drawn parallels between his own rule and Catherine‘s before, so while unlikely, it’s not inconceivable that he could have said something similar. (But probably muttered and with lots of pauses, while not quite looking into the camera.)