Define consolidating power
Russia also tried (but failed) to hack the 2014 Ukrainian presidential election.
In April 2015, Russian hackers took over the transmission of a French television station, pretended to be ISIS, and then broadcast material designed to terrorize France.
After a school in Beslan was besieged by terrorists in 2004 (in strange circumstances that suggested a provocation), Putin did away with the position of elected regional governors.
When the local police informed the population that no such rape had taken place, Russian media accused them of a cover-up. When our sitting president and his national security adviser speak of fighting terrorism alongside Russia, what they are proposing to the American people is terror management: the exploitation of real, dubious, and simulated terror attacks to bring down democracy.
The Russian recap of the first telephone call between the president and Vladimir Putin is telling: the two men “shared the opinion that it is necessary to join forces against the common enemy number one: international terrorism and extremism.” James Madison nicely made the point that tyranny arises “on some favorable emergency.” For tyrants, the lesson of the Reichstag fire is that one moment of shock enables an eternity of submission.
Thus, Putin’s rise to power and his elimination of two major institutions—private television and elected regional governorships—were enabled by the management of real, fake, and questionable terrorism.
After Putin returned to the presidency in 2012, Russia introduced terror management into its foreign policy.The authoritarians of today are also terror managers, and if anything they are rather more creative.