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Countering Hybrid Threats: Foreign Influence and Disinformation

Plovdiv and Varna

The Kremlin’s aggressive posture that has culminated in the recent invasion of Ukraine has had significant implications for European security. Over the past two decades, Russian intelligence service have been implicated in several high-profile incidents involving the use of sophisticated chemical and radioactive materials to target perceived adversaries beyond Russia’s borders. Kremlin’s burgeoning media influence in South-East Europe cultivated through the concerted deployment of media capture strategies has become a powerful tool for destabilising communities and undermining public trust in local institutions.

On 3 and 5 October 2022, the Center for the Study of Democracy held interdisciplinary workshops in Plovdiv and Varna to advance consideration of the phenomenon of pro-Kremlin disinformation in the media sector in Bulgaria. The events brought together practitioners and experts of law enforcement, security services, public administration sectors, and academia. The workshops were part of a thematic event series designed to sensitise policy-makers and civil society to the national security implications of Kremlin’s disinformation tactics and explore options and tools for enhancing resilience to hybrid threats in Europe.

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