Thierry Baudet: Championing Pro-Putin Stance in Dutch Politics

Thierry Henri Philippe Baudet is a Dutch politician, writer and self-declared conspiracy theorist. He is the creator and leader of the Forum for Democracy (FvD), a pro-Kremlin political party. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2017. He is pro-Russian and has stated that the 2022 Russian war in Ukraine is a defect of the West. 

In an October 2022 interview, Baudet facilitated the conspiracy theory that the world is governed by “evil reptilians”. He also declared he was a fan of Vladimir Putin, whom he called “a hero we need”. He expressed the Russian president is the only one who can take on the elite. He accepts Putin must succeed in the war against Ukraine and states “We must do everything we can to support him”.

In February 2022, after Moscow officially recognized separatist territories in Ukraine as independent nations and deployed military battalions to the Donbas, Baudet expressed his approval of Vladimir Putin’s steps. On 24 February 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Baudet said that Russia was “unnecessarily being vilified”. During a discussion in parliament on February 28, he explicitly declined to condemn the aggression. In August 2022, Baudet portrayed Putin as “a huge hero” fighting a “heroic” fight against “globalists”.

Baudet objected to the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement. Together with GeenStijl and the Burgercomité EU association, Forum for Democracy was one behind the drive to collect the signatures needed for the 2016 Dutch Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement referendum. Baudet and Forum for Democracy advocated for the “No”-vote in this referendum. During the campaign, Baudet on multiple events spread fake news, including false information of purported crimes by the Ukrainian military, and linked himself with pro-Russian activist Vladimir Kornilov.

In November 2016, Baudet co-signed a letter, formed by journalists Billy Six and Joost Niemöller, which challenged the independence of the MH17 investigations and asked Donald Trump to push for a new investigation. In May 2018, he defended the Dutch cabinet in holding Russia responsible for the MH17 shootdown incident. 

On the other hand, Baudet’s WhatsApp conversations were leaked to the media in 2020; these disclosed his close contacts with Vladimir Kornilov, who Baudet explained as “a Russian paid by Putin”, and revealed a significant influence of Kornilov on Baudet’s moves on Ukraine, the referendum and forthcoming anti-NATO campaigns. In the conversations with his FvD colleagues, Baudet also indicated financial backing from Kornilov.

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