Alina Polyakova

  • Democratic Defense Against Disinformation 2.0

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    Foreign interference in democratic elections has put disinformation at the forefront of policy in Europe and the United States. The second edition of Democratic Defense Against Disinformation takes stock of how governments, multinational institutions, civil-society groups, and the private sector have responded to the disinformation challenge. As democracies have responded, our adversaries have adapted and evolved. As the speed and efficiency of influence operations


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  • Moscow’s Eye Turns South

    In November 2016, the Atlantic Council published the first volume of The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses, detailing the extent of Russian-linked political networks in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. That report has since become a guide to those seeking to understand how the Kremlin cultivates political allies in Western European countries in order to undermine European consensus and sow divisions. In a new report, The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 2.0, we trace the extent of Russian political penetration in Europe’s southern flank—Greece, Italy, and Spain.

    These countries bore the brunt of Europe’s major crises in the last decade: the 2008 economic crisis and the 2015 refugee crisis. In the aftermath of the economic crisis, Greece, Italy, and Spain experienced...

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  • The New Thorn in Merkel’s Side

    In a year of unpredictable elections in the United States and in Europe, Germany’s federal elections on September 24 went as expected: Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-elected to a rare fourth term, signaling that a majority of Germans want more of the same for the next four years. And, why shouldn’t they? Germany has enjoyed low unemployment, historic budget surpluses, and is the undisputed (if reluctant) leader of Europe. But, despite the desire for stability among most, the elections also signaled a growing disenchantment with the mainstream and a desire to shake up German politics, even if just a bit.

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  • Dealing with the Far-Right in Germany

    Atlantic Council experts share their take on the outcome of the German elections. Here’s what they have to say:

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  • Trump’s Budget Cuts Seen as Detrimental to US Effort to Fight Russian Propaganda

    US President Donald J. Trump’s proposed cuts to the State Department’s budget would deprive the United States of the tools it needs to combat Russian hybrid warfare, Madeleine K. Albright, a former US secretary of state, said at the Atlantic Council on June 29.

    Trump’s proposed budget would sharply cut funding for diplomacy and development. With these cuts, “we are losing a tool to deal with what is hybrid warfare,” said Albright.

    US Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), meanwhile, echoed Albright’s call to bolster diplomatic efforts in the fight against disinformation stating: “We can’t cut the State Department 30 percent because we need our diplomats out there working with their partners,” to counter the spread of disinformation.

    Albright and Hurd spoke at the DisinfoWeek conference jointly hosted by the Atlantic Council and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Washington, DC. The...

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  • Why Talk About Disinformation Now?

    Disinformation has become a hot topic since Russia’s interference in the US presidential elections in 2016. As seventeen US intelligence agencies agreed in December of last year: “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election.” This influence operation aimed to undermine faith in democracy and the credibility of the Western institutions.

    Cyberattacks played a key, but relatively small part in this operation. Kremlin-backed hackers used targeted phishing e-mails to steal troves of documents and communications between Democratic Party operatives, but the bigger, and more sophisticated, part came later. Rather than using the stolen information for intelligence gathering—a normal and expected technique in the world of spycraft—the data instead appeared on WikiLeaks and other sites beginning in July 2016. It...

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  • Polyakova Quoted by the Los Angeles Times on Trump’s First Trip Overseas

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  • Polyakova Joins FOX News to Discuss US-Russia Relations

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  • For Macron, the Hard Part Starts Now

    Emmanuel Macron’s election as the next president of France marks a defeat for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a setback for the wave of populism that has swept the West, but France is not out of the woods just yet.

    “Vladimir Putin emerges as a loser,” said Daniel Fried, a former US assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia. Russia is believed to behind a massive cyberattack on Macron’s campaign days before the election.

    Fried added, “whether or not [Macron’s victory] is a strategic turning point depends on how well Macron does.”

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  • Polyakova Joins C-Span to Discuss the French Presidential Election

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