The Kremlin has responded angrily to the latest advert from Donald Trump which appears to compare Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Islamic State (Isis). Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the ad – posted on behalf of Trump on Instagram – fitted a familiar pattern of US presidential campaigns that demonised Russia.
The bizarre ad shows Putin throwing an opponent in a judo bout and former Isis militant Mohammed Emwazi – also known as "Jihadi John" – pointing a gun at the camera. It then shows Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton appearing to bark like a dog at several points in the clip and then cuts back to Putin, who is portrayed as though he is laughing at the Democrat. The accompanying caption reads: "We don't need to be a punchline!"
The Kremlin's official spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, refused to say whether Putin had seen it, but said the ad fitted a familiar pattern. "It's an open secret for us that demonising Russia and whatever is linked to Russia is unfortunately a mandatory hallmark of America's election campaign," said Peskov. "We always sincerely regret this and wish the [US] electoral process were conducted without such references to our country."
Previously it had seemed Trump and Putin had some sort of mutual appreciation society – or at least an agreement not to attack each other in public. Upon hearing that Putin had called him "colourful" in December 2015, Trump responded: "It is always a great honour to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond." As recently as last 13 March Russian state TV's DmitryKiselev said Trump was "trying to find a common language with Russia."
Now it seems the unlikely "bromance" is over.