“The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors,” said Putin this week.
Russia President Vladimir Putin has repackaged his rhetoric in a much more strident and virulent form, an expert has told Euronews.
Samuel Ramani, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), was referring to Putin's comments earlier this week.
“The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and will simply spit them out like a gnat that accidentally flew into their mouths — spit them out on the pavement,” Putin said during Wednesday’s call with top officials.
“I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to respond to any challenges.”
Ramani agreed that the shift in language was scary.
"This language is not entirely new either, because after the acquisition of Crimea in March 2014, Vladimir Putin warned precisely of the threat posed by Western countries, enabling fifth columns within Russia to oppose Russia's conduct in Ukraine," he said.
"So he basically has just repackaged his rhetoric. But in a much more strident and virulent form, and now he's not just targeting Russians who might be liberal and opposed to the war, but he's also targeting Russians living abroad and also oligarchs who have been used to Western lifestyles like the French Riviera and Miami Villa."
Watch Ramani's full interview in the video player, above.