Contributor Perspectives

Russia Takes a Hard Approach to Soft Power

Kseniya Kirillova
Board of Contributors
Jan 22, 2020 | 11:00 GMT
Russia's Maria Butina arrives at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport on Oct. 26, 2019, after her deportation from the United States for failing to register as a foreign agent.

Maria Butina arrives home at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on Oct. 26, 2019, after her deportation from the United States for failing to register as a foreign agent. Butina's engagement with U.S. conservative groups is just one example of how Russia tries to exploit societal fissures overseas.

(MIKHAIL JAPARIZDE/TASS via Getty Images)

For all its prodigious hard power, Russia's soft power is no trifling matter. In recent years, the Kremlin has resorted to plenty of channels to undermine Western democracies by spreading propaganda -- including false-flag operations and other "information operations" -- bribing officials and politicians, cultivating corrupt ties through business lobbies...

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