On Wednesday night, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine, escalating already-simmering tensions into full blown war. The authoritarian leader lied that his objective was to clear out supposed neo-Nazis in Ukraine, while falsely painting it as the aggressor.
Though the fledgling democracy exceeded global expectations on the first day of direct engagement with Russia's formidable arsenal, more than 150 Ukrainians have died so far. There will, sadly, certainly be more.
Despite the immediate possibility of government retaliation, thousands of Russians marched across their country in cities like St. Petersburg, voicing their opposition to the invasion, crying "No to war!"
While Putin's detractors have taken to the streets in Russia, his defenders on the right have taken to the airwaves.
Such was the case with right-wing conspiracy theorist and failed Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke, who had no problem saying the quiet part out loud in a CrossTalk appearance.
In a rant that made Marjorie Taylor Greene seem like Gore Vidal by comparison, Witzke said:
"Russia is a Christian nationalist nation. ... I actually support Putin's right to protect his people and always put his people first, but also protect their Christian values. I identify more with Putin's Christian values than I do with Joe Biden. Christian nationalist regimes are also a threat to the global regime, like the luciferian regime, it wants to mash everything together. But Putin takes care of his people. He looks out for his people."
As a former Republican nominee for Senate in Delaware, Witzke all-too-regularly makes unhinged statements like this. She's a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy web, which hinges on the belief that a "deep state" of satanic, cannibal pedophiles secretly controls the world order, and that former President Donald Trump was sent to expose them.
She's called transgender people "demonic," and falsely labeled them as "sexual predators," all the while saying the Republican party shouldn't admit LGBTQ people. She's even referred to gay male conservatives with epithets like "Satan's favorite sodomite" and "subversive pervert."
Social media users answered with a resounding "What the f**k?"
But as factions of the conservative party continue to embrace fascism, this defense and even praise of Putin is growing more and more ubiquitous. In recent days, far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson—a frequent Putin cheerleader—defended the Russian President's invasion and downplayed Ukraine's right to exist. Former President Donald Trump, the kingmaker of the modern Republican party, praised Putin's strategy as "genius."
People are seeing a pattern here.
One can only hope Witzke won't be on a ballot anytime in the near future, given the subjugation and aggression she openly supports.