Newsmax 'Vlad the Great' Vladimir Putin Magazine Cover Condemned

Newsmax has been criticized for describing Vladimir Putin as the "master of the world" on the cover of its magazine.

The December issue of Newsmax magazine puts the Russian president on its cover, along with the line "Vlad the Great" and a claim that he is the de facto leader of the world now Donald Trump is no longer in the White House.

The magazine, which was published as President Joe Biden held talks with Putin on Tuesday over fears that Russia plans to invade Ukraine, was greeted with criticism online.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, tweeted: "If this is real, then Newsmax should truly just admit it's the new Russia Today propaganda."

Ron Filipkowski, the Republican attorney who resigned from a Florida state commission in protest at a police raid at the home of data scientist Rebekah Jones in December 2020, wrote: "For anyone who thinks Newsmax is anything but Russian disinformation, here is the cover of Newsmax Magazine's December issue.

"Hundreds of thousands of MAGAs get their news from Putin every day."

Political pollster Josh Jordan wrote: "Newsmax going all-in on Putin is… exactly what you'd expect a publication catering to the MAGA base to do."

In a statement to promote its December issue, Newsmax said: "He's evil, he's cunning, and he's the most powerful man in the world." The magazine also promised to present the Russian president as "you've never seen him before — and it will change the way you look at one of the world's most feared superpowers."

The cover story, written by investigative reporter Kenneth R. Timmerman, would describe Putin's goal of "exploiting every opportunity to weaken the United States and its allies," as well as discussing his private life and alleged love children, according to the statement.

Speaking to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Newsmax, which operates the monthly magazine as well as a cable news channel and website, said: "Newsmax Magazine's December feature story is entitled 'Putin's War on the West: the Russian leader exploits every opportunity to weaken the U.S. and it's allies.' This investigative report paints a disturbing portrait of a dangerous leader and regime.

"Newsmax's cover portrays 'Vlad the Great' as a modern Russian Czar, who, after Trump, finds no world leaders to hold him in check."

After the Biden-Putin talks on Tuesday, Jake Sullivan, the president's national security adviser, said he had warned Putin that the U.S. might take more drastic actions than it had seven years ago when Russian troops annexed the territory of Crimea from Ukraine.

The incident, which occurred while Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, led to a number of sanctions being imposed against Russia. Moscow has refused to return the territory, however.

"I will look you in the eye and tell you, as President Biden looked President Putin in the eye and told him today, that things we did not do in 2014 we are prepared to do now," Sullivan told reporters following the two leaders' virtual meeting.

"Now, in terms of the specifics, we would prefer to communicate that directly to the Russians, to not negotiate in public, to not telegraph our punches. But we are laying out for the Russians in some detail the measures that we have in mind."

newsmax putin
President Vladimir Putin on the cover of the December issue of Newsmax magazine. Newsmax

Update 08/12/2021: This article has bene updated with comment from Newsmax.