The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

On November 16, 2016, Dr. Marlene Laruelle, Mr. Neil Barnett, and Dr. Alina Polyakova, who were joined by Dr. Andreas Umland, Dr. Mitchell Orenstein, Dr. Péter Krekó, and Mr. Josh Rogin, launched their report The Kremlin’s Trojan Horses: Russian Influence in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, a new report from the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu’s Eurasia Center. Unlike in Central Eastern Europe, Moscow’s tactics in the West are purposely subtler and difficult to trace. This report documents how the Russian government cultivates relationships with ideologically friendly political parties, individuals, and civic groups to build an army of Trojan Horses across European polities. This network of political allies, named in the report, serves the Kremlin’s foreign policy agenda that seeks to infiltrate politics, influence policy, and inculcate an alternative, pro-Russian view of the international order.

The report presents three cases, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, each written by a leading expert: Dr. Marlene Laruelle, director of the Central Asia Program and associate director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University; Mr. Neil Barnett, chief executive officer of Istok Associates; Dr. Stefan Meister, director, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia, Robert Bosch Center, German Council on Foreign Relations; and Dr. Alina Polyakova, deputy director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and senior fellow with the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

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Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in a Better Conversation

Islamophobia is on the rise in non-Muslim-majority countries. Following the recent spate of global terrorist attacks, Muslims are increasingly portrayed negatively by the media. Furthermore, some US politicians and their European counterparts have proposed an array of policies – from policing Muslim communities to controlling the flow of refugees and migrants from the Middle East.

On October 20, 2016, our distinguished group of panelists addressed issues including the media’s influence on shaping public perceptions of Islam and Muslims; the role policymakers can and should play in bridging the gap between Muslim and non-Muslim communities; and the role art and cultural institutions can play in shifting the narrative to a more inclusive and productive discussion.

The panel features Karen Armstrong, author and commentator on comparative religion; Dr. Mehmet Aydin, former Turkish Minister of State; Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University; and Zainab Salbi, host of Zainab Salbi Project of the HuffPost Originals. Ms. Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, vice president of the Aydın Doğan Foundation and publisher of Hürriyet, delivered welcoming remarks, and Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council moderated the discussion.