Vladimir putin
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It's finally here! The irrefutable evidence of malevolent Russian meddling in the elections of our democratic nations has finally been revealed, and it's absolutely stunning. "Incontrovertible!" "Mounting evidence!" That's how the British press described the evidence in November for Russian meddling in the Brexit vote.

Even though the Kremlin has cynically denied it on countless occasions, this week we got absolute proof that Vladimir Putin and his wretched rubles were directly responsible for manipulating millions of Britons to vote to leave the EU, potentially bankrupting the city of London and bringing down the civilized world as we know it. Bombarded by Kremlin-bot-backed social media propaganda, naive Brits were maliciously manipulated into voting the way Vladimir Putin wanted them to, and against their better judgment. The British elite were powerless against this Russian information war onslaught. The memes were just too good, using cutting-edge Russian persuasion technology.

Quoting a letter provided by Facebook's HQ, The Telegraph reported that the total investment by all the social network accounts of the Saint Petersburg based IRA (Internet Research Agency) was... are you ready?... under a dollar. That's right, Putin's measly pennies (or were they 'Putin Coins'?) are so powerful that he doesn't need to spend much to change the course of history. The price of Western democracy, it seems, is less than a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Heck, the Russians are so good at budget asymmetrical social media propaganda warfare that these paltry sums don't even have to specifically address the target issue, according to Facebook:
"Further to your request, we have examined whether any of the identified Internet Research Agency (IRA) pages or account profiles funded advertisements to audiences in the United Kingdom during the regulated period for the EU Referendum."

"We have determined that these accounts associated with the IRA spent a small amount of money ($0.97) on advertisements that delivered to UK audiences during that time."

This amount resulted in three advertisements (each of which were also targeted to US audiences and concerned immigration, not the EU referendum)
But there's more. According to RT, the massive reach of the 97 cents Putin spent resulted in.... are you ready?... 200 clicks. So over the course of 4 days (the time the ads were available), Putin's 97 cents magically made it possible for 200 folks (0.0006 of the total voters, as it turns out) to change the outcome of an election in which more than 30 million people voted. Clearly, Putin has to be stopped: he has way too much power for one man (is he even human??) But former UK MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove doesn't agree. He told BBC's Newsnight:
"I've not seen anything that convinces me at all that the Russians intervened significantly in the Brexit referendum."
Send this man to the Gulag! He's obviously a Putin agent!

But he might have a good excuse for his Kremlin trolling: his remarks came before Twitter revealed the full and terrifying extent of the Russian tweets that were used to swing the Brexit vote... Yes, all six of them, and all of them from RT. A veritable fortune in rubles was spent on the ad campaign: $1,000! Can you imagine? That's more than 1,000 times the power of the FB campaign. How the world did not instantly turn Communist, we'll never know. Oh, wait, maybe we do know. Half of the tweets only appeared after the vote had taken place, but that may simply be evidence of just how devious Putin is. British government scientists have confirmed that RT's (i.e. Putin's) tweets may contain properties that enable them to travels backwards in time.

Below, one of the six deadly Putin tweets that profoundly changed the UK, forever. Weep at the power of the dark side:

Note that I can only provide one of the deadly Putin/RT tweets in this article, any more would constitute reckless endangerment to the sensibilities (and minds) of our readers. For those of you brave (or foolish) enough to think you can handle it, you can view all six tweets here.

Sadly, there are still some British MPs who refuse to recognize the all-encompassing power of The Putin, with several of them accusing FB and Twitter of covering up the truth. Tory MP Damian Collins, chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Committee, was particularly peeved:
"The information you have now shared with us is completely inadequate," he said. "In the letter I sent to you on 3 November I requested 'that Twitter provides to the committee a list of accounts linked to the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and any other Russian linked accounts that it has removed and examples of any posts from these accounts that are linked to the United Kingdom.'"
It's possible that Twitter didn't include the other alleged accounts because... none exist?

But that's beside the point. Collins just can't grok the genius of Russian meddling. They found the equivalent of the Death Star's thermal exhaust port flaw. Sure, it may look like a cover-up to people like Collins - how could 3 tweets and 200 clicks possibly change the minds of millions of UK citizens? - but that's the genius of it: it doesn't make any sense by design! Putin excels in the art of stealing our elections while leaving us scratching our heads, unable to see how he did it with so little effort. Simple, effective and terribly, terribly deadly.

But fear not, brave defenders of Western Democracy, there is a way out of this Kremlin trap. Now that we know how Putin works, it will be a simple matter to see his fingerprints in future (and past) attacks on our democracies. It looks like this: the evidence of Russian attacks is designed to look like evidence that they didn't attack. It's not just that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but that evidence of absence is direct evidence that Putin did it! Any evidence that suggests it wasn't the Russians is clear evidence that it was!

So the next time something happens, and it looks like the Russians couldn't possibly have done it - anything from Theresa May having a bad hair day (every day) to bad things happening to America - you can be 100% sure they did. Of course, that won't stop the nefarious Putin attacks, but at least we will no longer be in any doubt about their origin, and there's a lot to be said for being able to immediately blame all your faults on someone else.

We're not sure about you all, but allow us to emphatically declare that, if Putin's 97 cents are that powerful, we should all be looking to get ahold of a few of them. We can only win if we fight fire with fire. So search your couches. Check your jacket pockets. Maybe together we can scrape together a dollar or two and finally turn the tables on Putin. The future of humanity depends on it.

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