From Brian Whitmore at RFE/RL:
“To think of Russia as a troll state is not to assume that it has no real goals or that its targets are chosen purely on a whim. It does, however, help to explain a style of statecraft that might otherwise seem increasingly irrational and unpredictable,” [Kremlin-watcher Andrew Kornbluth at Atlantic Council] wrote.
Indeed, Russia’s trolling is part of an ongoing effort to eat away bit by bit at Western resolve, European and transatlantic unity, and the post-Cold War international order. And the unpredictability of Moscow’s global trolling also serves to keep everybody off balance.
…..But trolling — like terrorism — is a weapon of the weak. “By tormenting others, trolls create the illusion of action and assuage their own nagging feelings of powerlessness,” Kornbluth wrote.
Back in February on the sidelines of the Minsk peace talks, a live microphone picked up a conversation between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka. The subject was Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. “He’s playing a dishonest and dirty game,” Poroshenko said.
Lukashenka nodded sympathetically, replying: “I know, I know. Everybody realizes this.
“Everybody realizes it indeed. And the game continued all year.
Source: The Year Of The Troll