The GuardianThe Guardian

Germany’s ‘Putin-caressers’ start coming to terms with their naivety

By Kate Connolly

28 Feb 2022 · 3 min read

Prominent figures in Germany are coming under increasing pressure to publicly distance themselves from Vladimir Putin amid accusations that they are bringing shame on the country and themselves.

The range of so-called Putin-Versteher (Putin-understanders) – those who have sought to explain or justify the Russian leader’s actions – include figures from the far-left Die Linke and the far-right AfD, as well as members of the Social Democrats and some conservatives who have tried to keep him on side in the interests of their constituents and German energy security.

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