What Happens to Putin’s Western Admirers?

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Curated by informed

The Russian dictator always had fans within radical parties in Europe and the US. Now some of them are trying to distance themselves.

  • Vladimir Putin has been supported by populist parties in the West for a long time. Radicals on the far-right as well as on the far-left admired the Russian autocrat for his anti-liberal attitude.
  • In some cases a partnership with Russia even had an economic background. Marine Le Pen’s far-right party in France was once bailed out by Russian banks.
  • After the shock of Putin’s Ukraine invasion reached the European party landscape many of his former supporters turned their back on him. The Russian issue has become toxic.
  • Italy’s hardliner Matteo Salvini has even tried to reinvent himself as a supporter of Ukrainian refugees. This came as a particular surprise as the politician is known for his anti-immigrant stance.
  • Even as political parties try to distance themselves from the warmongering Putin, the Russian leader still has supporters in the West: in the US, Fox News host Tucker Carlson is taking the lead here.
  • Russia has cultivated an atmosphere of misinformation and unfounded conspiracy theories that is attractive for radical movements on both sides of the Atlantic.
Foreign Policy
Financial Times
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