Alternative für Deutschland’s courtship of Russian speakers could pay dividends when voters go to the polls this weekend

They are the “invisible” ethnic minority that could help the rightwing populist Alternative für Deutschland become the third biggest party at Germany’s federal elections this weekend, yet has been largely ignored by the country’s biggest political parties.

An estimated 1.4 million to 4 million native Russian-speakers live in Germany, many of them descendants of 19th-century German emigres who returned and were granted citizenship after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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