Tag "CEPA"

Understanding the “russophobic” card

By Urve Eslas, for CEPA Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in a 17 February speech at the Munich Security Conference, described as “Russophobic” neighboring countries that oppose Russia’s core interests. The media’s use of this term has increased remarkably since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. The Kremlin’s weaponization of the word has also been applied in recent years to Estonia. Unfortunately Estonia itself seems to have adopted this label as well. On 8

How resilient is Latvia’s information space to Kremlin propaganda?

By CEPA People often assume that Latvia has two completely separate, self-sufficient information spaces: one for Latvian speakers and the other for Russian speakers. While this is largely true for traditional media, a recent study of international news by Latvia’s Center for East European Policy Studies (CEEPS) shows that online, this division is less conspicuous and more nuanced. The study, conducted in collaboration with CEPA experts, offers a more subtle

Russia on Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad: ‘so what?’

By Dalia Bankauskaitė, for CEPA On 5 February, Lithuanian news outlets reported that Russia had stationed several of its newest high-precision weapons—the Iskander-M nuclear-capable missile, with a range of 415-500 km—in the Kaliningrad region and that it intends to leave the missiles there permanently. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said the deployment “is not just a threat to Lithuania, but to half of all Europe.” Three pro-Kremlin media outlets in Russian and Lithuanian—Eskerptai.eu,

Why Moscow fears NATO

By Janusz Bugajski, for CEPA Moscow has manufactured a thick mist of disinformation about NATO in order to disguise its expansionist policies in Eastern Europe. Nonetheless, lurking behind this propaganda offensive is a genuine fear in the Kremlin that the North Atlantic alliance will thwart Kremlin ambitions and weaken the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia’s NATO myth-making can be debunked by examining the evidence. According to Moscow’s deceptions,

10 mistakes the West makes about Russia

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Worrying about Russian foreign policy used to be seen as eccentric. Now it’s mainstream. But misconceptions still abound, which hamper our response to the Kremlin’s mischief-making. Here are 10 of them: 1) “The threat is military.” Yes, there is a war in Ukraine, and yes, our presence in the Baltic states needs further bolstering. Yes, modern Russian weapons are sometimes impressive (at least in the

Reviving the Propaganda State

How the Kremlin hijacked history to survive By CEPA Are Western actions to blame for the steady deterioration in U.S.-Russia relations? While the Kremlin’s view of the West has long been hostile, the spread of “color revolutions” in the early 2000s acted as a catalyst. Fearing a similar revolution at home, Putin’s “political technologists” worried that they lacked powerful stories, symbols, and the means to mobilize youth in support of

Propaganda targets Baltic energy independence

By Dalia Bankauskaitė, for CEPA On 15 December, Lithuania’s floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Klaipeda began trucking LNG to Polish, Estonian, and Lithuanian consumers. Klaipeda’s land-based, small-scale LNG terminal will transport 4,000 cubic meters of LNG (the equivalent of 2.3 million cubic meters of gas, or 27.5 GWh) to 100 trucks, which will deliver LNG overland to four companies. The deal strengthens the Baltic natural gas market and

War in Ukraine: A struggle over Russia’s identity

By Janusz Bugajski, for CEPA As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its fifth year, two recently published books illuminate the fundamental motives for Moscow’s ongoing offensive. They make a compelling case that the armed conflict is intended to demonstrate and perpetuate Russia’s dominance through the usurpation of Ukraine’s history, territory, and identity. In a masterful dissection of Russian history (Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian

Edward Lucas: The repressive state

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA How many political prisoners languish in Russia’s jails and penal colonies? The short answer is that nobody knows. Harassment makes it hard for human rights organizations to track these cases. Many of those convicted are jailed for “non-political” crimes. Estimates range from dozens to hundreds. But the cases we do know about are bad enough. Take, for example, Yuri Dmitriev—one of the country’s greatest historians of

Edward Lucas: Russian political theater

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Russia is having a presidential election this year. Right? Wrong. In fact, the Kremlin is staging a play about an election, rather than a real contest with real voters, real candidates, real competition and real doubt about the outcome. The performance will be realistically and expensively staged, with the characters in appropriate costumes, and plenty of expertly produced props. The acting will be excellent. Presumably

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