22 July 2021
The Kremlin has been systematically building an image of Russia that suits its strategic, political and economic goals. This self-projected image combines the military might with victimhood, historical events with contemporary geopolitical developments, modernity with traditional values.
The former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe largely disappeared from Russia’s strategic map in the turbulent 1990s when Russia was preoccupied with the breakup and the resulting turmoil in the former Soviet Union countries.
Yet, with the more assertive and even aggressive posture of the Kremlin in recent years marked by the annexation of Crimea and military adventures in the Middle East and Africa, the outer edge of EU and NATO has become a subject of intensive influence operations.