Lithuania

IESC publishes paper on Russia’s election meddling

 

The International Elections Study Centre (IESC), an EPDE member from Lithuania, has published a paper, focusing on Russia’s election meddling as a measure of political warfare.

For Putin’s regime, meddling in elections is only part of a bigger campaign in the Kremlin’s war against the West, carried out non-stop for a long time and using a variety of methods in its malign activities. It is therefore impossible to analyse this meddling in separation from a general strategy of Putin’s regime or to undertake measures of protection only against election meddling without an effort, comprehensive enough, to fight back against the Russian threat as such.

In its complex attack, the Kremlin brings together a network of groups and actors, a coalition whose members often pursue their personal goals and may as often act individually as they do collectively. It is the coordination and thorough analysis of possibilities to exploit each particular group for specific aims that enable Putin’s regime to successfully utilize the whole configuration for its own benefit. Therefore, the West should clearly identify the Kremlin’s likely aides including political and PR consultants, lobbyists etc. as well as direct assistants of the Russian mafia, opaque businesses or the government itself in their efforts of money-laundering and financial penetration of the West. Mechanisms must be identified to resist their infiltration in Western societies without violating the norms of democracy and our values. Publicity is one of the tools possible, by making the Kremlin’s malicious operations and their local aides visible and raising public awareness about the emerging threats.

The West has been wrong in recent years to focus mostly on Russia’s support to marginal groups. Along with investing efforts in influencing extremists, both left and right, the Kremlin is searching for ways to spread its influence in traditional parties too. It looks like even the groups in the West that are openly hostile to Putin’s regime are not fully immune to attempts to spread this influence. This process of influence and its dangerous implications must be acknowledged.

Read the full paper:

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