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The Daily Vertical: Rooting For Fear (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

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

A massive disinformation campaign didn't do the trick.

A series of cyberattacks didn't do the trick.

Injecting money into the campaign didn't do the trick.

So now, is the Kremlin actually hoping that a terrorist attack might just do the trick?

Is Vladimir Putin's regime actually openly rooting for this?

It appears so.

WATCH: Today's Daily Vertical

Despite all the Kremlin's efforts, pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron appears set to handily defeat pro-Moscow nationalist Marine Le Pen in the second round of France's presidential election on May 7.

And he's doing so with a campaign that is appealing to voters' hopes and aspirations rather than exploiting their darkest fears.

But speaking on state television yesterday, Vladimir Solovyev, one of the Kremlin's favorite propagandists, made the case that fear and division could still win the day in France.

Solovyev said that terrorist acts could yet play a role in the campaign and help Le Pen win. After all, he added, two weeks is a long time.

And he actually appeared to be rooting for this to happen.

It was one of those revealing moments when the mask comes off.

It was one of those revealing moments when a deeply cynical regime got caught telling the truth.

It was one of those revealing moments when Putin's Kremlin and its surrogates showed their true colors.

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