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The war in Ukraine and Russian influence in Europe. Analyst: They have decreased after the invasion, but may return in the future

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Even with increased efforts to get rid of the Russian presence, there is certainly still a lot of Russian intelligence in Europe, said Raphael S. Cohen, an analyst at the renowned American think tank RAND Corporation.

Russia certainly lost much of its pre-war influence in Europe, both from the point of view of diplomacy, economy, military or information space” – said Raphael S. Cohen, an analyst from the renowned American think tank RAND Corporation, in an interview with PAP.

He stressed that after the Russian invasion of Ukraine many Russian diplomats who were also intelligence officers were expelled from many European countries. “Due to the radical turn of European public opinion against Russia, the Kremlin has lost many friends on the continent, primarily from the far right and the far left,” Cohen stressed. “Many of these relationships have been shaken or simply broken off,” the analyst added.

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“Even despite increased efforts to get rid of the Russian presence, there is certainly still a lot of Russian intelligence in Europe,” he said. “The Kremlin continues to bribe people, even if they don’t necessarily seem receptive to it,” he said.

“I would not underestimate the Kremlin’s capabilities in this aspect”

According to Cohen, it is also very easy to reopen social media profiles that spread fake news. Russian influence can take different forms in different countries, depending on the existing relations there. In one place they can rely on developed corruption, in another they can use populist politics.

Even if some societies are less susceptible to Russian influence, Russian influence in various forms (for example, disinformation) can still be a threat. “We can expect Russia to continue its hostile measures in European countries in the near future,” Cohen concluded. “I would not underestimate the Kremlin’s capabilities in this aspect,” he added.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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