Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Nicola Sturgeon shock: How pro-Putin supporters backed Scottish independence

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More than half of Scots are in favour of Scottish independence, according to a new poll. A recent survey by Panelbase puts support for independence at 52 percent, making it the second this year, after one conducted by Ipsos MORI, to indicate a Yes majority. The poll, which was commissioned by ScotGoesPop, was taken in the wake of the Dominic Cummings scandal, and asked pollers: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

It suggests that 20 percent of No voters from the last referendum in 2014 would now swap their votes and poll in favour of independence.

According to a recent report by The Times, the SNP are now formulating policies and expecting to unveil a prospectus for a second referendum once the coronavirus outbreak has come to an end.

Speaking during a daily media briefing last week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wants independence “as soon as possible”, but admitted that the coronavirus crisis is her main priority right now.

As uncertainty over the union continues, unearthed reports reveal how the SNP found a surprise ally in pro-Kremlin bloggers in 2014.

According to a throwback report by The Telegraph, as the referendum on Scottish independence approached, the “Yes” campaign was unexpectedly backed by Russian nationalists.

Supporters of the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea became interested in the SNP’s bid to leave Britain as they saw a parallel between the Scots and the struggle of ethnic Russians in Ukraine to break with a supposedly bullying overlord in Kiev.

Moreover, with resentment running high against the UK as a crusader for tough sanctions against Moscow, blogs in Russia became flooded with calls for Scottish “freedom”.

Some of the warmth for the SNP’s campaign could have also started after former First Minister Alex Salmond showed his respect for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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The Scottish politician said that he admired “certain aspects” of the Russian President’s rule, adding: “He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing.”

According to the report, the supporters of Scottish self-determination in Russia included Konstantin Rykov and Anton Korobkov-Zemlyansky, two of the most active pro-Kremlin bloggers.

Mr Rykov – a strident Putin supporter whose Twitter account had a “Yes” sticker – wrote a stream of messages in support of independence.

Mr Korobkov-Zemlyansky also tweeted numerous times in support of a Scottish breakaway.

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He included a popular montage of Igor “The Shooter” Girkin, the mercurial former military commander of the Ukraine separatists, dressed as a highland swordsman.

Alexander Kots, a war correspondent with the Kremlin-friendly Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, also shared a tweet with a montage of “Babay”, a bearded pro-Russian fighter who became a minor celebrity in Crimea.

The picture showed him playing the bagpipes with the caption: “Today we are all Scots.”

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, said earlier that year that the Scottish referendum was “Britain’s internal affair”.

However, aides to Mr Putin were thought to be keeping a close eye on the vote and how it could have unsettled Britain’s economy, armed forces and political makeup.

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