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The Daily Vertical: Being Dmitry Peskov (Transcript)

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

It must be a lot of fun to be Dmitry Peskov.

It must be a barrel of laughs to make things up every day.

It must be a hoot to constantly say things with a straight face and with conviction that are diametrically opposite of the truth.

In remarks to reporters yesterday, Peskov said -- and this is a quote -- "Russia has never bullied anybody."

Really? Well, I guess that would depend on what your definition of "bullying" is.

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Does kidnapping an Estonian law-enforcement officer from Estonian territory count?

How about politically motivated embargoes on Georgian and Moldovan wine and Belarusian milk?

How about massing troops on Ukraine's border?

But Peskov wasn't done. He also said -- and I am quoting again -- "Russia has never intervened in other countries."

Really? Never.

That, of course, would come as a surprise to Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova -- all of whom have unwelcome Russian troops based on their territories.

And to top it all off, Peskov said -- and again I am quoting -- "Russia wants to establish friendly relations with its neighbors."

Now, I think he's actually telling the truth here.

But by "friendly," Peskov, of course, means that the Kremlin wants Russia's neighbors to be docile, subservient, and to do as they are told.

And this really gets to the heart of the matter.

Peskov isn't lying. It's just that Vladimir Putin's regime see its neighbors not as sovereign countries but as Russian vassals.

And once you believe your neighbors aren't real countries, then bullying and intervention are just business as usual.

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