[Vladimir Putin] only paid lip service to warmongering comments, but he spent most of the speech assuring Russians that he was aware of day-to-day hardships...It’s amazing how much time he spent talking about sewage.”
The political will isn’t there to push as hard as they’d have to to convince the oligarchs Putin can’t guarantee the security of their assets...if they do go so far...there are second- and third-tier knock-on effects because of Russia’s integration into the global economy.
The Kremlin sees conspiracies everywhere primarily because they don’t believe in the idea of independent media or civil society...This is how the Russian government justifies its very real interventions in the U.S. and other democracies.
[On the interplay between Russian disinformation and hacking], there’s been a huge surge in interest… It’s sort of hit everybody in the face after the 2016 election...FireEye has made the subject a focus, building out its own intelligence team under analyst Lee Foster dedicated to tracking disinformation campaigns.
[Maria] Butina was another pawn on the chess board...Lots of people were doing lots of different things, all with the same goal. Butina was...another pathway to possibly reach Trump himself and influence the campaign.
The big challenge is to send a clear signal to the Russian federation that this kind of aggression has a red line. This is not something that the previous administration, the Obama administration, did effectively...This is an opportunity for this administration to send a clear message by taking specific actions, whether it be more broad, painful economic sanctions, where it be sending U.S. vessels into the Black Sea.
Moscow has been harassing commercial ships bound for Ukraine’s ports in the Sea of Azov for months...The attack on naval vessels now opens a new front in Russia’s four-year aggression against Ukraine, which includes the ongoing land war in Ukraine's east and the occupation of Crimea.
President [Trump]'s reticence ahead of [a potential] meeting with Putin is misguided...What Trump is signaling now by staying silent is that...he's actually a weak president, which, from the Russian perspective, is the best thing they can hope for.
The center is thinning out and the left and right are filling the void...Voters are looking for clear ideas [and don’t want to hear from] bureaucrats who have been spouting the same talking points for decades...Even if the fringe’s solutions are unpalatable, they are at least offering a future vision whereas the center has little else to offer...[But] it’s not a new phenomenon...It may seem like this is a sudden, surprising burst of momentum...but these crises have just given more fodder to parties that are able to mobilize support in a way the center is not.