Evgeny Feldman / AP
Earlier this week, a smear campaign against opposition politician Alexei Navalny launched online, and the Kremlin's official spokesman says Navalny might be behind it himself.
The mudslinging effort compares Navalny to Adolf Hitler, and depicts his nationalist views as extremist fascism.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, denied that the Kremlin is involved in the campaign against Navalny.
“I can't comment on this. The president's administration doesn't deal with such matters. It's not part of our agenda to make little videos,” Peskov said.
A video comparing opposition leader Alexei Navalny to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Pavel Baranov / YouTube
Peskov that speculated that Navalny himself is the one behind the video, which now has more than 2 million views on YouTube since Wednesday.
“There's a wide variety of opinions [on who's responsible], including people who logically believe that the ‘persons’ [Navalny] you mentioned could be behind the production of these videos. Just ask yourself the basic question: who gains from this?”
Russia's independent Dozhd television
channel reported on Tuesday that the Kremlin was preparing a major
campaign against Navalny, who plans to run for president in Russia's
Government officials, who have long avoided uttering Navalny's name in formal statements and press conferences, reportedly plan to target the politician's young voter base online, the report alleged.