In an op-ed published in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, one of Vladimir Putin’s advisers told Americans to stop worrying about Russian interference because “there is nothing you can do about it.”
Newsweek reported that Vladislav Surkov, an adviser to the Russian President, wrote, “foreign politicians talk about Russia’s interference in elections and referendums around the world. In fact, the matter is even more serious: Russia interferes in your brains, we change your conscience, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
He added, “the illusion of choice is the most important illusion,” and called it “the main trick of Western democracy.”
Surkov also promoted Russian expansionism and outlined Russia’s goal of returning to its position as one of the global superpowers. He said, “after having fallen from the USSR to the Russian Federation, Russia stopped collapsing and began to recover and return to its natural and only possible state as a large nation that is on the rise.”
He singled out Vladimir Putin as a driving force behind Russia’s “rise.” He championed “Putin’s great political machine,” and said, “Putinism is the ideology of the future,” outlining the Russian ambition to export Putin’s ideology across the globe.
Surkov offered an explanation of recent Russian interference in Ukraine, Suria and Venezuela. “The great role assigned to our country in the history of the world does not allow us to leave the stage or keep silent among the crowd,” he wrote. “It does not promise peace,” he added.
Russia has been far from silent. The Russian Federation stands accused of meddling the domestic politics of 27 countries since 2004. Its misinformation campaigns may have influenced the U.S. 2016 presidential election and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, as well as elections in France, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, among others.