This article addresses the nature of the use of influence operations by the federal government of the Russian Federation’s as well as ways for detecting and countering such operations. This has been done via a qualitative study of the concept, the Russian government’s use, and principles for countering influence operations. The article concludes that the operations appear to be guided by a coercive reimagining of the concept of soft power. It also argues for the need to address the operations on multiple interconnected levels that include the promotion of transparent and responsive communication.

Tony Jensen, currently unaffiliated, is a former student at Gothenburg University and the Swedish Defence University. He has participated in a number of international conferences on international relations and security policy. His specialisation is the use of deception and influence operations as a means to further an actor’s interests. The main focus of his research has been Russian activities in its near abroad.

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