It’s not as though the relationship between the Russian government and the German far right, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, has ever been a secret. Last year, when the government expelled a group of Russian spies, AfD leader Alexander Gauland protested: Germany could be letting “itself be drawn into a new Cold War by rabble rousers,” he declared. During Germany’s most recent election campaign, Russian state media campaigned openly for AfD. Pro-Russian and Russian-based social media accounts, some real and some automated, repeated AfD’s anti-immigration and anti-European messages, as well.
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