Marten: It would be surprising if Russia did not try a campaign in Germany; Putin's career history is centered on Dresden

PONARS Eurasia
08 Sep 2017

(DW) Facebook’s disclosure of a likely Russia-linked advertising campaign appears plausible. The revelation raises new questions about the Trump campaign and highlights an old misunderstanding by the Kremlin.

How credible is Facebook's revelation of a possibly Russian-backed political ad campaign in the US?

The information that an operation likely based in Russia was behind ad buys driving politically divisive messages on Facebook in a two-year period around the US election stems only from the social network itself and so far has not been independently verified. However, Russia observers consider Facebook's revelation plausible as it tallies with known efforts by the Kremlin to try and influence election outcomes. [...]

"Most importantly, it reveals a level of sophistication about US public opinion that is pretty striking," said Kimberly Marten, professor of political science at Barnard College and director of the US-Russia program at Columbia University.

"It's a basic problem that Russian intelligence and Russian analysis of the United States has had for many years dating back to Soviet times: They never understood the role of Congress in the US political system," according to Marten.

"It would be very surprising if they did not try it in Germany, especially because Putin's career history is centered on Dresden and he is a fluent German speaker," said Marten.

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