Russia: Background and U.S. Policy, Cory Welt, Analyst in European Affairs, August 21, 2017.
“Over the last five years, Congress and the executive branch have closely monitored and responded to new developments in Russian policy. These developments include the following:
- increasingly authoritarian governance since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidential post in 2012;
- Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and support of separatists in eastern Ukraine;
- violations of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty;
- Moscow’s intervention in Syria in support of Bashar al Asad’s government;
- increased military activity in Europe; and
- cyber-related influence operations that, according to the U.S. intelligence community, have targeted the 2016 U.S. presidential election and countries in Europe…”