Putin’s support for Brexit makes a lot of sense, though I’m surprised to see him expressing it so openly. The same applies to his alleged backing of Trump in the USA, and all those cunning Russian subterfuges – ‘official’ or not – that are alleged to have aided the Right in both countries over the last couple of years. Putin wants to see both America and Europe weakened. It’s old-fashioned ‘great power politics’ again.
A few years ago I floated the idea that the Soviets might have been instrumental in raising Thatcher to power in 1979. It might seem counter-intuitive; but it was based on the idea that true communism required capitalism to become more extreme and destructive before it could collapse, under the force of its own contradictions, thus allowing socialism to take its place. (Which may be what is happening now.) Social Democracy was an impediment to this. I made this suggestion, tongue in cheek (though a couple of reviewers thought I was being serious) at the end of the second edition of my Plots and Paranoia. Early on in this blog I posted a fictional account of what might have happened; it was going to be one of those ‘alternative history’ novels, but I gave up on it. Nonetheless, here it is (the opening chapter): https://bernardjporter.com/2016/01/31/the-thatcher-conspiracy/. The logic is spelled out there.
The communist Russians were skilled and experienced conspirators, as we all know, with the ex-KGB Putin having been well schooled in ‘dirty tricks’. I wouldn’t put it past even the post-communist Russians to be carrying on in the same way. The only thing militating against this theory is that Putin has admitted his backing for Brexit. A really skilful and devious plotter would have kept his cards closer to his chest.