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The Daily Vertical: Neighbors Know Best (Transcript)

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

Moldova and Estonia have expelled Russian diplomats in the aftermath of major espionage cases.

Estonia last month hosted the world's largest-ever cyberdefense exercises.

Ukraine is investigating the Russian Internet giant Yandex for illegally collecting data on local citizens.

The Ukrainian parliament is moving to restrict the activities of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

And the Czech Republic and Finland have set up new centers to combat Russian disinformation.

WATCH Today's Daily Vertical

Seven decades after George Kennan's famous essay, The Sources Of Soviet Conduct, laid the groundwork for the U.S. Cold War policy of containment, a new policy of containment is beginning to take shape in Europe.

And Russia's neighbors and Moscow's former vassal states in Eastern Europe are leading the way.

Which isn't surprising. They know best how the Kremlin operates, after all.

Vladimir Putin's regime has long been waging a shadowy, nonkinetic war on its neighbors and on the West.

It has weaponized business, finance, corruption, organized crime, religion, cyberspace, and information as part of a concerted effort to undermine Western institutions.

And containing this threat requires some outside-the-box thinking.

This is not just a job for defense ministries and intelligence services.

It requires a whole-of-government approach, including law enforcement and regulatory agencies.

Russia's 21st-century, nonkinetic political war on the West requires a 21st-century, nonkinetic form of containment.

Russia's neighbors get this. And we can all learn a lot from them.

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