Casey Michel interviews Mark Galeotti
The Kremlin is actually relatively open in what it’s looking for with the U.S., so we’ve seen a whole range of different agencies and actors, of oligarchs and ‘minigarchs,’ of these multiple forms of operations that these people can then take to the Kremlin. And the Kremlin knows that if these projects fail, they’ll deny knowledge of them — but, conversely, if they succeed, that these relationships can then be leveraged.
…I don’t think the NRA case was anything as serious [as the coup attempt in Montenegro]. This was, shall we say, grooming — acquiring contacts that we may see used for some operational purpose.
ThinkProgress talks to Mark Galeotti about oligarchs, infiltration, and the blurred line between lobbying and espionage.