In an interview with Russian state TV this month, Viktor Bout—the international arms dealer freed by the United States in exchange for basketball star Brittney Griner—revealed that he had sent a private message to former President Donald Trump, urging him to flee to Russia for safety. “Most likely he will simply be eliminated” in America, Bout said. “Therefore, I think it’s in the best interests of all of humanity, and primarily all of the American people, to invite Donald Trump here, to Russia, to give him security and protection here.” This would allow Trump to continue “this uprising against the globalists” and protect the American people from “elimination.”

Absurd as it may sound, this proposal—of a direct alliance between today’s Russia and Trumpian populism in a shared revolt “against the globalists”—renders perfectly the underlying ideological project of Russia. It’s an effort to construct a new multipolar world, where even the citizens of the nations that dominate today’s global order will be liberated.

Thus, when Vladimir Putin declares that “America has nothing to offer the world except domination,” he is attacking the United States as a global power that at the same time exploits the majority of the American people—for whom Trump supposedly speaks. An America pursuing Trump’s “America First” policy would fit perfectly the vision outlined by Putin in in an October 2022 speech, in which the Russian strongman called on the nations of the non-aligned world to join Moscow in building a new multipolar world to supplant the US-led Atlantic order:

Real democracy in a multipolar world first of all presupposes the possibility for any nation, any society, and any civilization to choose their own way, their own sociopolitical system. If the United States [and] the European Union countries have this right, then the Asian countries, the Islamic states, the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, the states of other continents certainly have it, as well.

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