Germany, Anti-Islam, and Vladimir Putin

Writing for Bloomberg View on December 17, Leonid Bershidsky spelled out a disturbing context for the Dresden turmoil. He pointed out that the anti-immigrant National Front in France “has loudly bucked Europe’s ongoing policy of ostracizing the Russian president, and has received millions of euros from Russia in return.” Given the PEGIDA mix of anti-Islam and pro-Russian slogans, he stated, “Putin’s strategy seems to be to build up a ‘fifth column’ of far-right parties in Europe willing to cooperate with the Kremlin.”

Bershidsky, citing the authoritative German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, noted that a seemingly bizarre slogan displayed at the PEGIDA turnout on December 15 was “Putin, hilfe uns!(“Putin, help us!”).