Less obvious, but more important, is how any Russian meddling in the American presidential-election season—whatever form it may have taken—fits into a much larger tale. This is the tale of a systematic Russian effort to disrupt democratic and capitalist systems internationally, using an updated version of tactics Mr. Putin learned in the bad old days of the Soviet KGB... The Playbook is an in-depth study of Russian efforts to use overt and covert tactics over a period of a decade to expand its economic and political influence in five Central and East European nations. A group of regional leaders from such nations warned President Barack Obama in a 2009 letter—which also looks prescient now—that Russia was conducting “overt and covert means of economic warfare, ranging from energy blockades and politically motivated investments to bribery and media manipulation in order to advance its interests….”..The Russian strategy, the study finds, isn’t ad hoc. Rather, it is the implementation of a doctrine developed by Russian Gen. Valery Gerasimov called “new generation warfare.” One European analyst called that “primarily a strategy of influence, not of brute force” aimed at “breaking the internal coherence of the enemy system.”
.. 1) The first track is economic. Russia seeks to find business partners and investments that allow it to establish an economic foothold, which in turn produces economically influential patrons and partners who have a vested interest in policies friendly to the Kremlin. That is a particularly fruitful endeavor in Europe, where many nations depend on Russian energy supplies.The goal on this track is to cultivate “a network of local affiliates and power-brokers who are capable of advocating on Russia’s behalf.”
2) The second track, perhaps more relevant to the U.S., is designed to disrupt prevailing democratic political patterns. The goal, the Playbook says, is “to corrode democracy from within by deepening political divides and cultivating relationships with aspiring autocrats, political parties (notably nationalists, populists and Euroskeptic groups), and Russian sympathizers.”.. “an acceleration” of Russian influence-seeking, ranging from a plot against the prime minister of Montenegro to interference in the French election to cyberattacks in Ukraine.
According to official results with more than 80 percent of votes counted, the abstention rate stood at 24.52 percent — the highest since the presidential election in 1969.In addition, the interior ministry reported a record number of blank and invalid ballots, accounting for nine percent of all registered voters, compared to two percent in the first round.
“That would make a total of one French person out of three who decided not to choose between the two candidates. It’s really a lot for a presidential election,” Anne Jadot, political science professor at the University of Lorraine, told AFP.
Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France on Sunday in a victory for a political newcomer who campaigned on promises to revamp France’s heavily regulated economy and fight a tide of nationalism sweeping the European Union. The 39-year-old former investment banker has vowed to undertake contentious changes to labor markets in France as part of a push for greater economic convergence among the EU’s fractious member states. At the core of his program are overhauls of France’s sluggish economy and the eurozone, with all its shortcomings. To get what he wants, he will first have to convince a skeptical Germany. Mr. Macron won 66.1% of the vote, surpassing pollsters’ predictions that he would win about 60%. Marine Le Pen, who ran on a plan to pull the country out of the euro and close its borders to migrants, took 33.9%. The euro briefly touched a seven-month high against the dollar after the results.
To help heal the division, Mr. Perez in declaring victory immediately appointed Mr. Ellison as the party’s vice chairman. Mr. Ellison practically begged his supporters to remain in the party and back Mr. Perez.
.. “It is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before,” Mr. Sanders said.