After failing to fully interfere in the German elections in 2017, and boost its right-wing favorite to victory in France, Russia is left with no other choice but to hunt down the fourth largest economy in Europe. In a desperate bid to gain a foothold in the region, the Kremlin will undoubtedly launch a massive campaign to spread fake news in order to influence the outcome of the Italian general election which is set to take place on March 4, 2018.
Rumor has it that despite an appalling failure in France, Moscow has once again placed its bet on the dark horse; President Vladimir Putin’s longtime friend Silvio Berlusconi. His odds of winning, however, are not quite as high as the Kremlin would like
The European Union refused to present classified evidence of Russian interference in Western democratic processes, but Margaritis Schinas, the European Commission spokesperson, said they “could sense the Russian footprint from miles away.”
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump also made a statement, saying that an attack (even if it is a cyberattack) against one ally shall be considered an attack against all of NATO, and has appealed to the alliance’s member-states to implement Article 5 of the Treaty, i.e. collective defense.
In an attempt to undermine Georgia’s efforts to join the EU, despite the fact that no one has even invited the country to the Union (oops, awkward), Moscow won’t hesitate to use a wide range of tools, including cyber-attacks, propaganda via state-owned media, as well as the tried-and-true method of sending carrier pigeons with flyers featuring a shirtless Putin riding a huge bear. By a twist of fate, Mikheil Saakashvili, who made an extravagant comeback to Georgian politics, will become Russia’s favorite, despite the charges of abuse of power that have been levied against him.
The Tbilisi Times quoted Petro Poroshenko, Saakashvili’s campaign manager, as saying, “Together, we will make Georgia great again!” The 2018 elections in Georgia are the last direct presidential vote; because following this, the president will be elected by a College of Electors. It seems, therefore, that it will be a tough mission for Russia to accomplish… But nothing is impossible for a country that made the surreal scenario “Trump-beats-Hillary” come true.
Let’s call a spade a spade: the Kremlin has been carrying out a disinformation campaign in the country, leading Russia’s most outspoken supporter, Milos Zeman, to victory. Undoubtedly, Moscow has hacked other candidates’ emails and spread erroneous news via fake accounts on Twitter to compromise Zeman’s challengers. Citizens and migrants alike have been chanting complimentary slogans, praising Russia for getting the Eurosceptics back into power.
Good God! After conquering Europe, Russia will be making its way to Latin America, having chosen Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia as its victims. Russian meddlers have already packed their bags and are ready to hack private emails and election results straight from the beachhead.
After a well-orchestrated campaign of leaks and cyberattacks undertaken by the Kremlin to determine the outcome of the 2016 Brexit vote, as well as Catalonia’s independence referendum in 2017, Russia is likely to “have a say” in the 2019 European Parliament elections, which raises the obvious question, “how many seats will Moscow get?”
Certainly, the Kremlin has not looked this far yet, but after the ongoing Russophobia craze, Moscow might as well use all available channels to launch another successful disinformation campaign during the 2019 presidential elections in Ukraine. For now, it’s kind of tough to predict the winner, especially with Petro Poroshenko moonlighting as Saakashvili’s presidential campaign manager…
And last but not least: some sort of Russian meddling is expected to surface in the Russian electoral process… The outcome of the elections will turn out to be absolutely unexpected! Russian hackers will take it to a new level, attacking the Central Election Commission and bringing the leader of the Communist Party to victory! Finally, Russia will prove to the West that there is indeed democracy in the country! But don’t worry, Vladimir Putin will remain in the shadows as a gray cardinal, just to make sure that no one screws anything up.
P.S. Keep in mind that Russia is even capable of hacking the election system in the fictitious African country of Limpopo, completely reversing the outcome of the race, ousting the democratically elected president and replacing him with the Kremlin puppet, Ai Bolit.