The Russia of Vladimir Putin has launched a hybrid war against the West – a war against democracy, the rule of law, our values and our way of life. While our governments are slowly grasping the scale and urgency of the threat, they have yet to form a clear and united response.
The enemy wants to disrupt our society, discredit our institutions and undermine our trust so that we turn against ourselves. The return of illiberal, nationalist and xenophobic politics – often funded by Moscow – suggests that we may be losing the battle. The ability of pro-Kremlin hackers, disinformation campaigns and unaccountable algorithms to corrupt our social media, our search engines, and even our social movements, poisons the lifeblood of our democracy.
The war on the West – both from the outside and from the inside – is a war on truth. Everything we hold dear is at risk: our trust in public institutions and fair elections; our trust in the rule of law; our trust in knowledge and science; our trust in journalism and media; and perhaps most of all, our trust in a shared sense of reality and values. Our democracy is at stake, and we must defend it.
Defending Democracy is an independent, nonpartisan, transatlantic initiative. We work for:
- supporting and defending our basic values: our fundamental freedoms and rights
- a stronger, transatlantic response to the Kremlin’s hybrid war on our democracies
Regarding internal threats, Defending Democracy focuses on defending our freedoms and rights:
- rule of law
- human rights
Regarding external threats, Defending Democracy focuses on deterring key hybrid threats:
- political warfare
To help achieve our mission, Defending Democracy works on:
- communication (digital advocacy)
- cooperation (building bridges across silos)
- community (connecting people and organisations)
Defending Democracy does not have the answers – but we do ask the questions.
Alice Stollmeyer, Founder and Executive Director