vladimir putin

Could the missile strikes on Syria enhance U.S. soft power? Philip Seib considers the possibility at the CPD Blog.

Russia has repeatedly proposed cooperation on cybersecurity to the US, but has not received a positive response, according to Putin. "We hear these endless and groundless accusations of some kind of interference, talking about cybersecurity. [...] Putin told the Arctic forum he sees positive changes in cooperation between Russia and the United States on Syria

An interview with Anne Applebaum about disinformation, soft power, and Russia.

Putin perfectly understood the power of the media that helped propel his famously unpopular predecessor Boris Yeltsin into power in 1996. So the first thing he did after assuming the presidency in 2000 was to force all the major TV channels to submit to his will. Oligarch owners were either co-opted, jailed or exiled, and by 2006 most major Russian media were either directly or indirectly under Putin’s administration’s control.

Viktor Bondarev and Vladimir Putin, by En.Kremlin.ru

Has Putin's use of hard power created a soft power appeal?

The Kremlin is trying to split the West by spreading “altered facts,” conducting blackmail and setting up front organizations, the U.S. State Department said, in 1981. So-called active measures were common during the Cold War, when the U.S. and the Soviet Union sought to unify and divide Europe with equal urgency. Now those tactics appear to be back, retooled for the digital age 

Over 200 years ago, President George Washington warned Americans about foreign powers undermining American democracy by tampering “with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils.” In the present, we are finding that old threats are new again as the United States is challenged by Russia’s strategic communication efforts targeting both our domestic politics and international interests.

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