Putin’s ‘Fifth Columns’ Rhetoric Raises Fear of Reign of Terror

Japan media reported on March 30 that, Putin has brought up the term ‘fifth column’ on multiple occasions recently. The fifth column was a term invented by Stalin to label domestic dissidents as traitors who worked as spies for the West.

On March 16, Putin accused the West of invoking the use of the fifth column to destroy Russia. The fifth column referred to by Putin was in fact the people of Russia who oppose Putin’s war on Ukraine, the targeted are not only limited to high profile politicians, and military officials, but also include ordinary people.

One day later, Kremlin’s spoke person called for drafting a law to “cleanse” the so-called ‘fifth column’. This has raised the fear that Putin is bringing back the Reign of Terror in Stalin’s time and beginning to crack down on dissidents in Russia.

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