Britain First, an anti-Muslim hate group whose videos were promoted by President Donald Trump on Twitter Wednesday morning, has deleted Facebook posts in which it heaped praise on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
BuzzFeed has found that the pro-Putin messages posted by Britain First included headlines such as “GO PUTIN! Russian president’s popularity on rise in Czech Republic” and “VIDEO: Putin backs our Brexit.”
“The posts variously described Putin as a ‘no-nonsense leader’ whose party was updating laws ‘to reflect the country’s traditional values,’ noted that ‘Vladimir Putin’s popularity in the Czech Republic has surged and could now be higher than that of Angela Merkel,’ and was ‘getting tough on terror,'” BuzzFeed reports. “One post, which was shared on the site’s Facebook page two days after the EU Referendum vote, also specifically noted Putin backed ‘our Brexit’ because ‘no-one wants to feed weak economies.'”
However, it seems that those posts were deleted at some point over the last year, although it’s still not clear why.
Kremlin propagandists throughout the 2016 presidential campaign created multiple dummy Facebook and Twitter accounts with the goal of both promoting Trump’s candidacy and stoking ethnic divisions within the United States. BuzzFeed notes that the UK is in the process of conducting an inquiry into how Russian bots might have influenced the 2016 vote in favor of leaving the European Union.