“The revisionist powers of China and Russia… are actively competing against the United States and our allies and partners. [They] want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.” – The National Security Strategy of President Donald J. Trump
The demise and disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s hit Russia the hardest. Their sense of national pride exhausted, the people of a newly formed Russian Federation quickly found themselves victims of poverty and corruption in a society brutally dominated by naked self-interest.
On a false promise of order and restored dignity, Vladimir Putin became president of the Russian Federation nearly 20 years ago. During his first term, Putin stated that the collapse of the Soviet Empire was, “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” In a return to history, Putin waited until he’d sufficiently consolidated power at home before renewing Kremlin-directed efforts to weaken the Transatlantic Alliance, together with the security and prosperity it fostered and must ardently protect. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is an adversary who seeks to divide and extinguish the light of freedom that the Transatlantic Community has paid dearly to preserve, over one hundred years, through war and peacetime. Under his direction, the Kremlin’s multiple agents sew poisonous seeds of doubt and confusion in our societies in order to weaken our common belief in ourselves. They are in pursuit of a grand strategy that seeks to divide Europeans and Americans despite our decades of cooperation, trust, and shared sacrifice. Tactically, this involves the invasion of free nations such as Ukraine and Georgia, massive cyberattacks against our allies in the Baltic states and elsewhere, using energy resources for political manipulation, and calculated efforts to toxify politics in the open societies of the West. Until Putin or his predecessor ceases and desists, Moscow will remain an adversary to America and Europe’s shared values and common interest in a secure and economically prosperous community.