Putin's Patriots

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Putin's Patriots

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THE NATIONALIST GROUPS TAKING ‘RUSSIA’S GLORY’ TO THE WORLD

This fascinating hour special examines Vladimir Putin’s plan to reclaim Russia’s former glory, calling on support from his followers across the world.

Putin’s Patriots delves deep into the activities of a cluster of dedicated pro-Russian nationalist groups operating on Australian shores; some are explicit about their mission - to wage a propaganda war to help further the Kremlin’s global agenda - prompting analysts to warn Australia that it should be paying close attention.

On a Sunday morning in Australia, a pseudo military group strides through a capital city carrying portraits of their hero, Russian president Vladimir Putin. Many are dressed in army fatigues. They are there to stare down the protestors who have come out to condemn the jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and Putin’s brutal crackdown on his supporters. The self-described defenders of Russia are determined to shut down anti-Putin sentiment in Australia as part of a propaganda war to remind the world that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a force to the reckoned with. Australian intelligence states that Putin sees such organisations as a significant asset in pursuing his particular goals.

These clusters of pro-Moscow organisations with ties to the Kremlin, are establishing chapters in Australia are increasing in numbers with government insiders aware that Russia has kept a close eye on Australia since relations between the two nations collapsed in 2014, when Australia took a vocal stance on the international stage following Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine and the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, angering the Kremlin.

While Putin supporters try to shut down critics, further investigation illustrates how Australia has become a safe haven for tainted cash linked to Russian politicians and criminals. Some, with close ties to the Russian President himself, have sought to use their investments in Australia as a source of leverage in international disputes. In this ground breaking documentary those who know Russia well say Australia needs to watch Russia closely.

A Four Corners story

Credits

Four Corners
Australian Broadcasting Corporation