They aren't even pretending.
Kremlin officials aren't even hiding the fact that they completely approve of the behavior of Russia's football hooligans at the European Championships in France.
Today, for example, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters that Russian diplomats will offer free legal assistance to Russian hooligans who have been detained for attacking other fans.
Earlier this week, Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for the Investigative Committee, tweeted that Russia's hooligans are shocking to Europeans because they are not used to seeing "real men" in action and are more accustomed to gay-pride parades.
And State Duma deputy Igor Lebedev, an executive member of Russia's Football Union, has tweeted: "nothing wrong with fighting. Keep it up boys!"
Lebedev added that the hooligans were defending the honor of their country.
It is worth noting that defending that honor has resulted in one British fan suffering severe brain injuries after being severely beaten by Russia's "real men" with iron bars.
Top Russian officials' open and enthusiastic support for such criminal behavior should be shocking.
But sadly it isn't.
This regime has, after all, tried to present the prosecution and incarceration of Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout -- who was convicted of conspiring to provide weapons to terrorists -- as a victim of human rights abuses.
They essentially claimed a gun runner was a hero and a martyr.
So it's not surprising at all that Vladimir Putin's regime should take pride in the thuggish and deadly antics of Russia's hooligans in France.
It's just one of those moments when the mask comes off and when the Kremlin gets caught telling the truth.
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