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The Daily Vertical: The Kremlin's Twisted Playbook (Transcript)

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

So suddenly, the Kremlin is really worried about hackers.

No, really. I'm serious.

In an interview this week with Rossiiskaya Gazeta, National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, one of the most powerful figures in Vladimir Putin's inner circle, called for the international community to unite to "create a safe global information environment."

Really? Now, I wonder what the Kremlin-backed hacker groups Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear would think about that. Are they also interested in a safe global information environment?

WATCH: Today's Daily Vertical

I mean, you truly can't make this stuff up.

And it gets better.

In the same interview, Patrushev said he was deeply concerned about the danger posed by the rise of the xenophobic far right in Europe.

If he's so concerned, he probably should have a talk with his boss, who, you know, recently hosted a certain prominent leader of the European xenophobic far right in the Kremlin.

And he probably should have a little chat with Kremlin-connected oligarchs like Konstantin Malofeev, who is widely believed to be backing Europe's nationalist fringe.

So what's up here? Is Patrushev delusional? Is he clueless? No. And no.

He's cunningly duplicitous and he's following the Kremlin playbook to the letter.

First, you create a problem and blame it on somebody else. Then you express shock and horror. And then you offer your services in resolving the problem.

It's worked like a charm in the past. And we should expect this crew to keep trying it in the future.

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

NOTE TO VIEWERS: The Daily Vertical and The Morning Vertical will not appear on May 25-26, as I will be speaking at the GLOBSEC Forum in Bratislava. All Power Vertical Products will resume their regular schedule on Monday May 29.

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