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‘I’ll Stand on the Side of Russia’: Pro-Putin Sentiment Spreads Online


On a podcast on Wednesday, Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former adviser, also praised Mr. Putin as “anti-woke.” He suggested the Ukrainian conflict was “not our fight.”After Russia’s attack began, some online users explained Mr. Putin’s motives by blending them with conspiracy theories about Covid-19. One Twitter account named War Clandestine declared that Mr. Putin was targeting biolabs in Ukraine that were operated by the United States. The idea was made more believable, the author said, because of the conspiracy theory that the United States engineered Covid-19 at a lab in Wuhan, China.Pro-America influencers like Mikel Crump and John Basham, who have a combined following of 99,200, amplified the thread. Twit …

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