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A nation must think before it acts.
While there may be some ideological components at stake in the Russian Federation undermining democracy in the West, the Kremlin primarily views interference as a tool to accomplish its strategic interests. Russia is less concerned about regime type (authoritarian versus democratic) and more concerned with how a foreign power advances its strategic interests. While many governments that advance Russia’s interests tend to be authoritarian, this is not always the case. Russia does not view non-Western democracies as a threat because the Kremlin considers them predictable and consistent. However, the use of “sharp power” to interfere in the internal affairs of Western democracies is coupled to an assessment of how such interference either promotes Russian interests or decreases Western capabilities to interfere in Russian foreign and domestic policy.