US Senators: It's Time to Take Action Against Kremlin Tactics

In this way, Russian interference can be prevented in the future.

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) hosted an event to mark the launch of a new online tool for monitoring and analyzing Russian influence operations. US Senators Gene Shaheen and Ron Johnson, who spoke at it, said it was time to take action to prevent Russian attacks in the future..
“We saw the Kremlin use hybrid warfare tactics, repeated aggression against Ukraine, we witnessed full-scale disinformation in the UK during the Brexit vote and, of course, we watched operations to interfere with our own elections here in the United States. in 2016, ”said the Democratic Senator Gene Shaheen (Jeanne Shaheen).
The foundation’s interactive map captures various types of interventions – information operations, cyberattacks, disruption of political and social systems, economic pressure and harmful funding – in more than 40 countries, from 2000 to the present. According to the data, 80% of recorded intervention actions occurred in the period starting in November 2013 – the time of the beginning of the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine – and more intensive actions occur in the period starting in 2014 – the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine..
As the senator noted, despite the various measures taken by the US government, Washington’s response to Moscow’s actions was insufficient. “I fear that our infrastructure and secure networks, and perhaps most importantly, the public, remain vulnerable and open to attack. Although I think very important work is underway, our government still lacks a unified state approach, ”said Senator Shahin, adding that instead of the ongoing debate about Russian interference in the US elections, it’s time to take active action to prevent such attacks. in future.

US Senators: It's Time to Take Action Against Kremlin Tactics

For this, according to the senator, innovative solutions are needed. It is necessary to improve people’s media literacy and their ability to critically perceive information, as well as to defend such Western values ​​as freedom of speech, Internet openness and democracy. According to the senator, defending Western values, despite the fact that the Kremlin uses them against the West itself, remains a fundamental task for Western countries..
In turn Senator from the Republican Party Ron Johnson (Ron Johnson) noted that when looking at facts such as economic strength, Russia’s actions should not be a cause for concern. According to the senator, the US and European economies are $ 36.6 trillion and the population is 845 million, while Russia – $ 1.6 trillion and 142 million. However, the senator added, “they have nuclear weapons, propaganda and oil.”.
According to the senator, the Russian strategy for spreading disinformation is quite sophisticated and consists not in “convincing the value of their system”, but in “people don’t believe in anything”, so the West needs to focus on developing a more strategic and coordinated approach in the fight with Russian disinformation.
Western sanctions, according to the senator, although they are a necessary tool, should remain “targeted”, since it is very important that the sanctions do not become “unproductive”, allowing the Russian president to justify the difficulties in the Russian economy.
According to Senator Johnson, the presence of a strong position of the West against Russia’s actions is also very important, since it is a weak reaction that provokes Russia to more and more actions. “Vladimir Putin is a very smart person, he is very opportunistic, he attacks when the West is weak. (…) He will watch how we respond. If we don’t answer, he will take one more step and then another. (…) This is why we have Transnistria, why we have Georgia, why we have Crimea, why we have Eastern Ukraine, why we have Syria – let’s not add anything else to this list, ”said Senator Johnson.
Ambassador of Estonia to the United States, speaking at the event Yonatan Vseviov (Jonatan Vseviov) noted that the cyberattacks and riots in Estonia in 2007, provoked by Moscow, “opened the eyes” of many Western leaders to what can be expected from Russia. The ambassador also noted that the goal of Russia is not individual countries, but the weakening of the West as a whole. According to the ambassador, it is very important for the West to understand the Kremlin’s strategy and take not only tactical, but strategic steps..

Report Launch: Recalibrating U.S. Strategy toward Russia: A New Time for Choosing (Part 1)

Answering a question from the Russian Service of the Voice of America about how to resist Russia’s attempts to exploit the weaknesses of Western countries, the Estonian Ambassador noted that it is necessary to ensure the unity of Western countries.
“There are certain differences between European countries and between Europe and the United States, but what unites us is much more important than what divides us,” the ambassador said..

  • Valeria Jegisman

    Journalist «Voices of America». Prior to that, she worked for international non-governmental organizations in Washington DC and London, in the Russian-language version of the Estonian daily newspaper “Postimees” and as a spokesman for the Estonian Interior Ministry. Interests – international relations, politics, economics

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