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Policy Brief

Southeast Europe (SEE) remains one of the most vulnerable soft targets for the Kremlin’s ongoing hybrid war against the European Union and the democratic West. The combination of state and media capture, simmering ethnic divisions both between and within countries, and the legacy of Russian cognitive bias all make the region vulnerable to Kremlin’s aggression following their invasion of Ukraine. Illicit finance and disinformation are two of the most potent sharp power tools that the Kremlin has deployed to undermine democratic processes in Southeast Europe. The usage of these tools has also provided fertile ground for the corrosive influence of China and other authoritarian powers.

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