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Hacks, leaks and disruptions – Russian cyber strategies

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What is the relationship between cyber activities conducted by Russia at home and abroad? What role do cyber operations play as an instrument of Russia’s coercive diplomacy? How different is Russia from other cyber powers, and how do we know for sure if the Kremlin is behind certain cyberattacks that have been attributed to it?

This Chaillot Paper examines these and other key questions as it explores how Russia’s increasingly assertive behaviour in cyberspace has lent new urgency to the debate about cybersecurity in the West. It focuses on what lessons EU member states have learned from recent events, and on how the EU and NATO have responded to these cyber challenges on the diplomatic, political and security fronts. The paper argues that Russia’s aggressive use of cyber tools has led the US and many Europeans states to adopt more defensive cyber strategies, and that as a result Russia may have lost the strategic advantage it has hitherto enjoyed in what is becoming an ever-more contested domain.