A campaign video by US presidential candidate Donald Trump has elicited comment from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ad, attacking Trump's presumptive opponent Hillary Clinton and featuring Putin performing a martial arts move, is a "demonization of Russia", according to a statement from the Kremlin.
Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump
© DELFI montažas

The 15-second video attacks Clinton on her alleged softness in responding to international security threats. These threats are visualized with footage of Putin and an Islamic State fighter.

"It is common knowledge that demonization of Russia - let me put it this way - and everything related with it is regrettably a mandatory attribute of the US election campaign," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian news site TASS, also noting that he wasn't sure if Putin had seen the advert. "We always regret this. We would like election processes to proceed without such allusions to our country."

The advert has been shared more than 2.3 million times online since Trump posted it on his Facebook page, ibtimes.com reports. It opens with large white writing that says “when it comes to facing our toughest opponents,” before cutting to Putin in martial arts gear slamming his opponent to the ground and then an Islamic State fighter pointing a gun at the camera.

The clip then shows more white writing that says “the Democrats have the perfect answer,” then cuts to showing Clinton barking like a dog and then Putin laughing. The last part of the video shows writing that says “we don’t need to be a punchline”.

The Clinton footage is from a campaign rally in Nevada earlier this year, where she barked in order to describe a radio advert she heard while in Arkansas.

Earlier in his campaign, Trump described Putin in favourable terms, saying "he's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country".

Russia has, too, shown some liking for Trump's campaign. Dmitry Kiselyov, news anchor at the Kremlin-controlled Rossiya 1 TV channel, said last week that Trump was a "non-systemic" candidate who stood out among the Republicans with his openness to cooperation with Moscow.

Kiselyov also slammed what he said was a conspiracy by the US political elite to sink Trump's presidential ambitions.

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