Alina Polyakova

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Alina Polyakova is the David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program's Center on the United States and Europe and adjunct professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

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The Russia Connection

What the Mueller Report Tells Us About Russian Influence Operations

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.

The redacted Special Counsel report released this morning confirms that the Russian government, through various proxies, carried out a multi-pronged campaign against the United States before, during, and after the 2016 election. That campaign involved three distinct elements:

Russia

Putin’s Potemkin Election

On March 18, a theatrical production took place in Russia. It involved elaborate stage settings, set designs and a handpicked cast of actors. Among them was the young socialite who held her cards close to her heart; the authoritarian mustached statesman calling for a return to better times of the past; and the ostentatious radical who saw conspiracies everywhere.

Cybersecurity and Deterrence

The Next Russian Attack Will Be Far Worse than Bots and Trolls

On March 15, the Department of Homeland Security together with the FBI announced that Russian government hackers infiltrated critical infrastructures in the U.S.—including “energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors.” According to the DHS-FBI report, malicious Russian activities have been ongoing since at least March 2016. The Russian malware, which has been sitting in the control systems of various U.S. utilities, allows the Russians to shut off power or sabotage the energy grids.