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The Daily Vertical: Russia's New Western Front (Transcript)

Well, here we go again.

The campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has accused Russia of "hundreds, if not thousands of hacking attacks" against it.

The campaign has also denounced what it called Moscow's attempts to smear Macron with fake news.

Hmm. Seems we've seen this movie before.

Now why the Kremlin would target Macron is, of course, pretty damn obvious.

Unlike Moscow's Euroskeptic darling, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, Macron supports a strong and united Europe.

And Macron also takes a much sterner line on Russia than another Kremlin favorite, conservative candidate Francois Fillon -- who has called for lifting sanctions.

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France is the next big showdown in the new Cold War of ideas between Western liberalism and Moscow-backed illiberalism.

And since Macron has become the French standard-bearer for liberalism -- and since his candidacy is on the rise -- he is going to be in the Kremlin's crosshairs.

But while we may have seen this movie before, it doesn't necessarily mean the ending will be the same.

Because this time around -- in the French presidential elections this spring and in the German parliamentary elections in the fall -- everybody is on to Moscow's game of using Western democracy as a weapon against Western democracy.

Moscow is not only seeking to upend the post-Cold War international order.

It's not just seeking to divide and weaken the European Union, NATO, and the transatlantic bond.

Ultimately, with its attacks on Western liberalism, the Kremlin is mounting an asymmetrical assault on the Enlightenment itself.

And it is eyeing France -- and later Germany -- as the next key battles in that war.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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