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The Daily Vertical: Back To The 1930s (Transcript)

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

In case there is any lingering doubt in anybody's mind about the ideological orientation of Vladimir Putin's regime, there shouldn't be now.

Any uncertainty about where the Kremlin really stands should have been put to rest this week when the ruling United Russia party signed a cooperation agreement with Austria's far right anti-immigrant Freedom Party.

By formally linking up with a party founded by ex-Nazis in the 1950s and run by an ex-Nazi into the 1970s, the Putin regime is showing its true colors.

Moscow's support for xenophobes, Euroskeptics, and extremists is no longer a covert op and an active measure with plausible deniability.

It's no longer a stealth operation run through front groups like the Dialogue of Civilizations -- although it never really was all that stealthy to begin with.

Now it's official, it's out in the open, and it's in your face.

What Russia pretended to oppose in Ukraine, it is now supporting openly in Europe.

And the implications of this are deadly serious.

WATCH: Today's Daily Vertical

Not only is the Kremlin actively trying to undermine the political consensus and security architecture that has kept Europe safe and prosperous for decades;

Not only is Moscow trying to rupture the transatlantic bond;

And not only is the Putin regime trying to fracture the European Union and undermine the West's democratic institutions.

By formally and openly throwing its support behind those seeking a so-called "Europe of Nations," Moscow is actively trying to take us back to the 1930s.

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