“Two years ago, the Kremlin attacked the United States through a coordinated influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential elections,” writes Dr. Alina Polyakova in The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses 3.0: Russian Influence in Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Following successful installments on Russian influence in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the report examines Russian efforts to establish a political presence in Northern Europe.
This report is the final installment of a three-year-long project that sought to expose a less often discussed element of the Kremlin’s political warfare: the cultivation of political allies in Europe’s core. The aim of the project is to draw attention to Western Europe, where for far too long the Russian threat was either dismissed, ignored, or overlooked. As is now known, the Kremlin’s tentacles do not stop in Ukraine, Georgia, or East Central Europe. They reach far and deep in the core of western societies. Acknowledging the ongoing threat is the first step to countering its effects and building long-term resilience.
“To get ahead of Russian political warfare, Western countries must face uncomfortable truths,” writes Dr. Alina Polyakova, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program’s Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, in the report’s introduction. The report presents cases on Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden, each written by leading experts: Mr. Flemming Splidsboel-Hansen, senior researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies; Mr. Robert Van Der Noordaa, investigative journalist; Mr. Øystein Bogen, senior foreign affairs correspondent, TV2; and Mr. Henrik Sundbom, fellow, Stockholm Free World Forum.