Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a state awards ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 28, 2017.
Kirill Kudryavtsev / Reuters

With each passing week, the evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election—and in U.S. politics and society more generally—grows. Since at least 2014, in an effort to influence the election and undermine confidence in U.S. democracy, Russia has hacked private American citizens’ and organizations’ computers to steal information; released that information in ways designed to affect electoral outcomes and divide Americans; planted and disseminated disinformation in U.S. social media, through its own state-funded and -controlled media networks and by deploying tens of thousands of bloggers and bots; cooperated with Americans, possibly including members of Donald Trump’s campaign, to discredit Trump’s opponent in the election; and probed election-related computer systems in multiple states. We will never know for certain whether Russia’s intervention changed the outcome of the 2016 election. The point is that it tried.

Today, the Kremlin’s unprecedented efforts

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  • ROBERT D. BLACKWILL is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and was the Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Planning in the George W. Bush administration.
  • PHILIP H. GORDON is the Mary and David Boies Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and was a Special Assistant to the President and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in the Obama administration. 
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