Russian President Vladimir Putin now suddenly considers the possibility that an elaborate, influential campaign to affect U.S. presidential election may have been orchestrated from Russia. He is also clear that, if that were the case, the Russian state “couldn’t care less.”
And he found a scapegoat regardless.
In the face of a flurry of accusations, the Russian leader made it clear he does not hesitate from throwing vulnerable groups under the bus. For instance, Putin recently alleged “Ukrainians, Tartars, or Jews — but with Russian citizenship” may have carried out the cyber-attacks against the United States.
Answering questions during a broadcast interview, Putin brushed off the familiar accusations before saying the ethnic minorities in his country, who he suspects were behind this attack, may have effectively worked as non-state actors.
Putin’s easy dismissal of the accusations is somewhat similar to his American counterpart’s stubborn denial of the accusations.
However President Donald Trump’s repeated exclamation of “no collusion” are countered by investigations into the matter by intelligence agencies, which reportedly have evidence suggesting Russia was behind efforts to sway the elections away from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and toward Trump.
Just last month, special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating the alleged ties between Trump campaign and the Kremlin, named 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies who reportedly meddled into the elections through massive social media campaigns.
Even before that, members of the Trump campaign, like his son Donald Trump Jr., were willing to collaborate with Russia to dig up dirt on his father’s formal rival, Clinton.
Whatever Russia’s involvement in 2016 elections may have entailed, Putin has tried to delegitimize the citizenship of ethnic and religious minorities in his signature clandestine fashion.
Without explicitly saying so, like his friend Trump does, Putin has called Jews, Tartars and Ukrainians criminals, and questioned their Russian citizenship.
The Jews living under Putin have, for quite some time, felt suffocated under his rule. Israel reports an increasing number of Russian Jews immigrate to Israel every year. Apparently, the Jews leaving Russia for good are young, educated people who no longer want to live under Putin.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Carlos Barria