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A nation must think before it acts.
By exploiting pre-existing divisions in Western societies and attempting to sway elections toward candidates palatable to the Kremlin, the Russian Federation has had some success in eroding social cohesion and confidence in the institutions of democracy. But pulling the West down has not improved Russia’s position in the world. Russia today is less well-regarded, less prosperous, and less secure than it was before it began its campaign of sowing disorder. Since the Kremlin sees its actions as justified responses to the West’s alleged attempts to undermine Russia, this is a price it is willing to pay. Rather than trying to convince Russia to cease its malign activities, Western societies need to look inward. We need to eliminate the societal divisions that Russia exploits rather than try to convince Russia not to exploit them, denying it fertile ground on which to scatter its seeds of disinformation and propaganda. Only then will we solve the “Russia problem.”