The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.
Dmitry Peskov isn’t content to just lie.
For the Kremlin spokesman, a simple denial of an obvious fact is not sufficient.
No, Peskov needs to tell pants-on-fire whoppers with absolute gusto and glee.
Yesterday, for example, Peskov made the over-the-top claim that the Kremlin “does not engage in collecting compromising materials.”
He was, of course, responding to reports that Russia had collected compromising material on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
And if he stuck to that specific allegation, which after all, is still unsubstantiated, he would have been on more solid ground. His denial would be plausible.
But no. For Peskov, the art of the lie had to go a step farther.
He had to claim the Kremlin never gathers “kompromat” against opponents.
Which, of course, would come as a big surprise to people like opposition leader Ilya Yashin, anti-Kremlin comedian Viktor Shenederovich, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, and former Prosecutor-General Yury Skuratov — just to name a few victims of Kremlin-backed kompromat campaigns.
And it’s not just Peskov who does this.
Remember a couple years back when Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said — at the height of Russia’s intervention in the Donbas — that Russia wanted “peace and quiet” in Ukraine?
So why do they do this?
It’s a power play, pure and simple.
Vladimir Putin’s regime is sending a message that it has absolute impunity — from responsibility, from repercussions, and indeed from facts themselves.
The Kremlin is telling its own people — and the world — that “reality is what we say it is.”
“We create reality, we lie about it — and you have to deal with the consequences.”