There are no places in Europe in which Putin would not be interested

On 24 February 2022, the Europeans awoke from their peaceful slumber. The tranquillity of the last few years turned out to be a delusion, and Europeans began to fear seriously for the future of their beautiful home. With the war, it became clear that Europe, the European Union and its member states were not free from Putin. From his influence, his money, his ideology, his rhetoric. A wave of self-audits overflowed from east to west.

The European Liberal Forum, supported by the Project: Poland Foundation, has taken on the crucial task of dissecting and explaining the extent of Russia’s influence across Europe. The initiative brings together twenty experts and editors from across the continent to articulate how Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s actions and ideologies affect everyday Europeans’ lives. This exploration is not just a narrative of external geopolitical manoeuvres; it delves into the internal dynamics of European countries, highlighting how Putin’s reach has infiltrated various sectors, including the economy, politics, media, and social organizations.

The study describes universal phenomena and trends. Even when the starting point for describing a problem is a single country or a group of countries, it does not at all mean that this problem is limited to this particular geographical area. On the contrary, it should be assumed that it is or will be present in one form or another in other countries as well. The question is: when and with what intensity? Because there are no places in Europe in which Putin would not be interested. Destabilising or subjugating every patch, even small or remote from Moscow, brings the dictator closer to his goal: reconstructing the empire, building Putin’s Europe.

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