Vladimir Putin told his Defense Department to watch ‘House of Cards’ to better understand American politics

Are you Putin that documentary on? Russian president 'thinks House of Cards is a factual programme'

It’s the hit US drama charting the Machiavellian scheming of a fictional president.

But Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin is so convinced by the twists and turns in House Of Cards that he has advised his defence chiefs to watch it – to get a better understanding of the real American political system.

Speaking ahead of the release of the fifth series on Netflix on Tuesday, Michael Dobbs, the Tory peer whose 1989 novel inspired the series, said: ‘Clearly they think it’s a documentary.

‘Apparently President Putin told his new minister of defence to watch House Of Cards so that he can understand what goes on in America.’

Dobbs, an executive producer on the US show, said Putin was just one of a number of world leaders hooked on the show, revealing that President Xi of China has personally shared his enthusiasm for it with him.

The new series, which stars Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey as President Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife Claire, is the first since the election of Donald Trump.

The tense relationship between the US and Russia has been explored in previous episodes but the Kremlin is likely to be transfixed by the new series as, topically, it examines the increasing chill in the superpowers’ relationship.

Dobbs declined to give away any of the plot but he did say: ‘I think you will be gobsmacked as to how up-to-date and contemporary the whole thing feels despite the rapid pace of events in the political world.

‘All I would say is that we had a very hard time making sure the drama matches the documentary. I think we have done it and I am really happy with the series.’

Dobbs, whose book also inspired the original BBC series from 1990, said the programme could act as a bridge builder: ‘In a world where our political leaders seem to be increasingly at loggerheads, how important might it be over the coming years that on different sides of the planet and in different systems and in different societies the people can actually share something in common?’

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Source: Daily Mail

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