(FP) It was recently reported that in June 2015, the U.S. Congress directed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to investigate possible funding of European political parties and non-governmental organizations by the Kremlin. The directive alleges that Russia seeks to weaken European unity, with the goal of ending sanctions levied for its involvement in eastern Ukraine and undermining NATO’s missile defense plans.
This is only the latest chapter in an ongoing effort to expose Russia’s meddling in European politics. Allegations of Russian infiltration have been made by leading publications, politicians, and think tanks. They warn that bankrolling like-minded parties is only one component of Russia’s operations meant to manipulate public opinion in its favor. The Kremlin has also worked to shape attitudes through the slick and compelling — and conspiracy-filled — programming on its global news channel. Some analysts have even consider Russia’s propaganda and lobbying campaign to be an aspect of “hybrid warfare” alongside its more muscular actions in Ukraine. The new wrinkle is that, for the first time, the U.S. government is conducting its own investigation. […]
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