and now the hard part

And Now the Hard Part

Fighting Russian Disinformation


President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation blankets a store in Moscow on April 17, 2014. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images
President Vladimir Putin's address to the nation blankets a store in Moscow on April 17, 2014. ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

Brookings scholar Alina Polyakova on why the United States needs to go on the offense.

Russia’s attempt to swing the 2016 U.S. election campaign for Donald Trump was just one of dozens of such operations Moscow has waged in the West in recent years. Assessing the specific impact of each act of political interference is exceedingly difficult. But analysts increasingly point to a general trend that serves Russia’s interest: The operations are eroding Western voters’ overall trust in democracy.

This week on And Now the Hard Part, we trace the roots of Moscow’s political interference and talk about how countries can fight back.

“You have to send the message to those that try to undermine our democracies that there will be consequences for their actions,” says Alina Polyakova, the director of the Global Project on Democracy and Emerging Technology at the Brookings Institution and our guest this week.

Listen to the episode on this page or subscribe and download wherever you get your podcasts.

About And Now the Hard Part:  The world is a particularly confusing and daunting place these days: Russian bots, North Korean nukes, trade wars and climate emergencies. To understand it better, Foreign Policy and the Brookings Institution are teaming up for an 8-part podcast series. On each episode, host Jonathan Tepperman and a guest from Brookings discuss one of the world’s most vexing problems and trace its origins. And then, the hard part: Tepperman asks the guest to focus on plausible, actionable ways forward. Jonathan Tepperman, Foreign Policy’s editor in chief, hosts the podcast. The guests are some of the smartest and most experienced analysts around—all scholars from the Brookings Institution, including former government and intelligence officials.  See All Episodes


More And Now the Hard Part episodes:

How to Reverse the Global Drift Toward Authoritarianism

Brookings President John Allen on why autocrats are rising and what to do about it.

How to Boost the Economies of Africa

Brookings scholar Landry Signé on why the continent underperforms when it comes to trade and what can be done about it.

How to Manage North Korea

Brookings senior fellow Jung H. Pak on why the United States has failed to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and what to do about it.

Other Foreign Policy podcasts:


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