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Source and Recommended Reading


“Listen: we engage in foreign policy the way we engage in war, with every means, every weapon, every drop of blood. But like in war, we depend on both the strategy of the general in the High Command, and the bravery and initiative of the soldier in the trench.”

Russian former diplomat, 2017

Russia sees ‘active measures’ (aktivnye meropriyatiya) – from supporting populist parties through disinformation and espionage campaigns, all the way to incidents such as the attempted coup in Montenegro – as an essential part of its efforts to influence Europe.  Along with the usual instruments of foreign influence, such as diplomacy and economic levers, Russia is especially active in using covert and non-traditional means, from intelligence operations to military pressure and even organised crime, all of which have been the foci of recent policy briefs for ECFR.3 This final publication in an informal series seeks instead to consider the extent to which these campaigns are carefully planned and coordinated – and, if so, by whom.

Approximate date of publication: September 2017.