Refer to the Fox News item here, Putin said that:

To forgive the terrorists is up to God, but to send them to Him is up to me

It seems that the only source I can trace to is a tweet from Remi Maalouf:

Putin : to forgive the terrorists is up to God but to send them to him is up to me #ISIS #Syria #Moscow

Remi Maalouf is a news anchor for Russia Today (RT), which lends some credibility to the quote, but it is not formally reported by any official news channel, just a tweet, so that dampens the credibility somewhat.

Given Putin's character, I can believe that this really came out of his mouth and not made up by someone. But did he actually say it?

  • 1
    Members of Reddit and Twitter commented that: Man on Fire (2004), said this by Denzel Washington's character. The exact quote is this: "Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting." Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 9:25
  • 2
    This is a quote from 2004's movie "Man on Fire". It's hardly possible those words could come out of Putin's mouth, and I failed to find anything even remotely resembling this in the last week's news.
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 9:28
  • This misquote actually originated from Chinese forum. Some people translate it into English
    – user29925
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 10:21

2 Answers 2


Remi Maalouf has since deleted original tweet and posted this tweet.

This is the danger of social media! I took Putin's quote from a post on Facebook & it turned out to be false. I apologize.


The RT host most probably refers to the meeting on investigation into the crash of a Russian airliner over Sinai, held in Kremlin on November, 16.

During the meeting President Putin, among other things, has said:

This is not the first time Russia experiences barbaric terrorist crime, usually without any obvious internal or external causes, the way it was with the explosion at the railway station in Volgograd at the end of 2013. We remember everything and everyone.

The murder of our people over Sinai is one of the bloodiest crimes in terms of the lives it claimed. We will not dry our tears – this will remain forever in our hearts and minds. However, this would not stop us from finding and punishing the perpetrators.

We have to do it without any period of limitation; we need to know all their names. We will search wherever they may be hiding. We will find them anywhere on the planet and punish them.

(official transcript in English, in Russian)

The quote the RT host has tweeted is a slightly modified quote from the 2004's U.S. movie Man On Fire, starring Denzel Washington:

Forgiveness is between them and God. It's my job to arrange the meeting.

(IMDB quotes)

The Putin's quote is in plural ("we", not "I"), does not mention death or its euphemisms ("punish", not "send to God"), and does not talk about forgiveness.

  • There's only guesswork here: none of the sources you present refer to that quote.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 1:32

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