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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Moscow (AFP) – President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday warned “terrorists” they face total destruction, after Russia was hit by double suicide bombings in its southern city of Volgograd that claimed 34 lives.

“Dear friends, we bow our heads in front of the victims of the terrible acts of terror. I am sure we will toughly and consistently continue to fight against terrorists until their total destruction,” he said.

Putin made the comments in a New Year’s address from the Far Eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk, which is seven hours ahead of Moscow and where he met with victims of devastating summer floods.

“In the current year, we have encountered problems and have been challenged by serious experiences, including ones like the inhuman acts of terror in Volgograd,” Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies.

Curiously, his New Year’s address that was broadcast earlier to the inhabitants of Russia’s furthest flung time zones of Magadan and Kamchatka did not mention the Volgograd attacks.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed that Putin had broken with a longstanding tradition by departing from the traditional New Year’s address which is normally recorded days in advance at the Kremlin.

“Here [in Khabarovsk] he made his New Year’s wishes and this became his New Year’s address. So he basically broke a long-standing tradition,” Peskov explained.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)