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HomeNewsFrom Russia with lies: Assessing the malign influence of Russian ‘sharp power’...

From Russia with lies: Assessing the malign influence of Russian ‘sharp power’ in the EU


From Russia with lies: Assessing the malign influence of Russian ‘sharp power’ in the EU – Download here

Author – Anaïs Marin

Putting Russia on the map of threats to democracy makes particular sense since the Kremlin, in waging its war on Ukraine, is showing absolute contempt for democratic values. Vladimir Putin considers the promotion of Western democracy in Russia an existential threat. This is also true regarding NATO and EU enlargement into what he claims is Russia’s sphere of allegedly “natural”, and exclusive, interests on the Eurasian continent. Hence, his regime has spent the past two decades fighting both “threats”, engaging in hybrid warfare, territorial annexation and even military aggression to pursue its neo-imperialist ambitions. 

Utilising a combination of Soviet-era psychological tactics and advanced digital technologies, Russia aims to destabilise Western democracies from within. The analysis delves into Russia’s use of “sharp power,” focusing on its multifaceted strategy to erode democratic institutions through disinformation campaigns, electoral interference, and exploitation of societal divisions. The author emphasises the grave significance of this threat, particularly in light of the Kremlin’s overt plans to disrupt the forthcoming 2024 elections worldwide.

The policy paper urges the European Union to urgently strengthen its defences against malign influences. It highlights the importance of enhancing societal resilience, bolstering legislative and regulatory frameworks, and mitigating vulnerabilities to disinformation. With the 2024 European Parliamentary elections on the horizon, the EU is encouraged to adopt a strategic and comprehensive approach to protect its democratic processes and institutions.

The policy paper was published as part of the “Protecting European Values” project.


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