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Every day seems to bring a new revelation about Russia's political meddling in Western countries.The Finnish author Sofi Oksanen once observed that Russia's information warfare works because its targets are often willing participants.In the Baltic states, people are increasingly worried that geopolitical competition over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany will affect writers' freedom of speech to opine on Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime.Russia protested the move, and deadly riots erupted amid rumors that the government was denying Estonian Russians the right to mourn their war dead.While Russia's propaganda efforts may be aimed at influencing governments, it is individuals who suffer the consequences.Nearly three decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russia maintains its Soviet-era proclivity to prey on peoples' fears and insecurities. Its operatives are happiest when their opponents cease their activities – when writers stop writing, or publishers stop publishing.Unfortunately, Russia succeeds more than it fails because it is easy to misinform; as Noam Chomsky once said, people don't know what they don't know.The best chance truth has is if writers and authors persist in presenting readers with facts; every now and then, we are rewarded for these efforts.
Baltic dread: Why we remember oppression and fear its return
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