20 years under Putin: a timeline

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States and United Kingdom governments have chosen to oppose or counteract Russia only on traditional hardcore corruption issues (arms control, espionage, outright crime, etc.) while neglecting highly questionable and ethically debatable practices and appeasing the Kremlin in exchange for its compliance on nuclear proliferation and select regional cooperation issues (e.g. Iran, Korea, Afghanistan). This report seeks to bring together all the different layers of corrosive practices in one comprehensive overview; analyze their aims, means, effective impact, and reasons for acceptance in US and UK; and provide policy suggestions for western governments to counteract them. The main argument of the report is that neglected layers of corrosion, although less harmful at first glance, are nevertheless extremely dangerous in the long run, as they undermine democratic values, institutions, and practices in US and UK and jeopardize national security by importing Russian practices to the West. New forms of corrosion export often come without the direct support of the Russian state but through corporations or powerful individuals connected to Vladimir Putin’s regime. The US and UK governments, media, and opinion-makers should be bolder in filtering and counteracting the penetration of corrosiveRussian practices in international organizations, the Internet, western media, legal and financial system, elections, lobbying, think-tanks, universities, and real estate. In conclusion, the report seeks to synthetize initial policy suggestions for each layer of corrosion in one summary table and hopes to spark a renewed frank debate about the appeasement of corrupt Russian practices in the West.