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The Daily Vertical: The Kremlin's Existential Threat (Transcript)


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

No matter how patiently and how consistently you repeat a lie, it is still a lie.

No matter how patiently and how consistently you repeat a fantasy, it is still a fantasy.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin has "been quite patient and consistent in providing accounts of the coup which took place in Ukraine and which was sponsored in large part from abroad."

Indeed he has. And I suppose I could patiently and consistently explain to all of you that I've grown a mustache and am wearing a tuxedo.

Or that I'm 2 meters tall and have a full head of hair -- hey, I kind of like that one.

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But here's the thing.

Putin's patiently and consistently repeated lies and fantasies about Ukraine are not just propaganda and disinformation.

They are actually a survival tactic.

Because what actually happened in Ukraine three years ago this month -- a genuine middle class uprising that overthrew a corrupt and authoritarian regime -- is seen by Putin's corrupt and authoritarian regime as an existential threat.

An uprising in which ordinary citizens are willing to fight and die for a democratic future is an existential threat, so they have to call it a coup.

The idea that Ukrainian civil society has agency of its own is an existential threat, so they have to say its actions were sponsored and directed from abroad.

And the idea that an independent Ukraine can make independent decisions of its own is an existential threat, so it has to be discredited and destabilized.

Now I know none of this is new. I've been saying these things for years.

But these things are worth repeating as we mark the anniversary of the bloodiest days of the Euromaidan uprising.

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

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