Financial TimesFinancial Times

Putin, Trump and the meaning of a mafia state

By Gideon Rachman

28 Aug 2023 · 4 min read

“We are not a gang. We are not the mafia. We don’t seek revenge like they did in Mario Puzo’s book The Godfather. We are a nation. A nation of laws.” Those were the fulminations of Vladimir Solovyov, a Russian television host, denying that the Kremlin had anything to do with the aeroplane explosion that killed Yevgeny Prigozhin.

Solovyov’s comments are a fine example of that excellent French saying: “Qui s’excuse, s’accuse”. (“He who excuses himself, accuses himself.”) The pro-Kremlin propagandist understands completely that the killing of Prigozhin had all the hallmarks of a mafia hit.

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