Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and its suspected hacking of French President Emmanuel Macron’s campaign servers, should surprise no one, given President Vladimir Putin’s (mis)understanding of soft power. Before his re-election in 2012, Putin told a Moscow newspaper that “soft power is a complex of tools and methods to achieve foreign policy goals without the use of force, through information and other means of influence.”
Clingendael's Jan Melissen and Emillie de Keulenaar on the urgency of going digital.
“Triangular diplomacy”, a term coined by former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger in reference to the confrontation and cooperation between the US, the Soviet Union and China during the cold war, seems to be back again, but in a new form and with new strategic significance. The strategy explained the informal alliance between Washington and Beijing; US president Richard Nixon and Kissinger managed, 45 years ago, to pit Beijing and Moscow against each other by forging a closer partnership with China
After completing an intense campaign and claiming victory in the historic referendum, President Erdoğan is scheduled to pay a visit to global powers and meet key state leaders in May, including a first-time meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in mid-May.[...] President Erdoğan went through a busy schedule ahead of the referendum on April 16, where he held rallies in support of the "yes" campaign almost every day, at times participating in a few rallies a day.
Stopfake.org, a group of researchers from the Mohyla School of Journalism in Kyiv, have identified two strong narratives in their study of Russian propaganda about the Euro Maidan: first, that it was a coup d’état directed by the U.S.; and second, that power was seized in Kyiv by a fascist regime. [...] With a lack of clear narratives and facts from the Ukrainian government, the Western media fell for the Kremlin’s skillful falsehoods.
Barbora Maronkova on how civil society rose to the occasion in the fight against disinformation in Ukraine.