The Daily Beast

Putin’s Favorite Authoritarians in Hungary, Serbia, and France Had a Great Week

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

During the past week, Vladimir Putin’s armed forces suffered serious setbacks in their unprovoked attack on Ukraine. However, during the same period, Putin made significant gains in his broader campaign against Western democracies.

While Russia’s army was forced to withdraw from its failed attempt to surround and capture Kyiv, and as global outrage grew over reports of serial Russian atrocities across Ukraine—in Hungary and Serbia, politicians with close ties to Putin won resounding election victories.

Meanwhile, in France, a right-wing political leader (who has received Russian funding) showed surprising strength in the polls, and seemed likely to emerge from Sunday’s elections as one of two candidates heading into a run-off for that country’s presidency.

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