Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Why does eastern Germany love Putin so much?

By Jens Kastner and Jack Hewson

17 Sep 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. The Free Saxons movement is a right-wing monarchist group that seeks to restore the German kingdom of Saxony and finds common ground with Russia. The group's members, including far-right extremists and Soviet nostalgics, have voiced sympathy or support for the country's invasion of Ukraine.

CHEMNITZ, GERMANY—Werner enthusiastically waved a white, red, and blue Russian tricolor flag—with the added imperial crest of the tsars—as we talked outside the former Stasi headquarters of what was once Karl Marx City, now Chemnitz, in eastern Germany.

“The current German state is worse than what we had during communist times, and America, not [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, is the true evil of this world,” he said, aggressively thrusting his finger in my face, our conversation eavesdropped on by a giant statue of Marx. 

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