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The Daily Vertical: The Foot Soldiers Of The Putin International (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

They're authoritarians and they're xenophobes.

They're anti-immigrant; they're antiglobalization; and they're eurosceptic.

They feed on the fears of the disaffected and the disenfranchised.

They sow division, discord, chaos, and intolerance.

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They're in Europe, and they're in North America.

And whether they're doing so willingly or unwittingly, they are nevertheless advancing Vladimir Putin's agenda.

They're furthering the Kremlin leader's goal of tearing down Western liberal democracy.

They're the foot soldiers of the Putin International.

The Kremlin leader did not create the malaise plaguing the Western world.

But from Europe to North America, he's skillfully exploiting and exacerbating it -- with a hacking attack here, some disinformation there, and a bank loan there.

And for the time being, it seems to be working.

In many ways, this feels like Vladimir Putin's moment.

But here's the thing. It's not.

Because for all the success he seems to be enjoying in trolling the West, at the end of the day Putin doesn't have an attractive product to sell.

No matter how much lipstick you put on it, authoritarian kleptocracy is no match for liberal democracy.

Now, the West has been in this place before. And it has proven resilient and persevered.

Does anybody remember the 1970s?

And we should have every reason to believe that this time will not be any different.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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