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Souvenir magnets in the Estonian capital of Tallinn depict pro-Putin novelties.
The small Baltic state of Estonia is a loyal member of NATO and the European Union. Yet its large Russian-speaking minority and its shared border with Russia make life complicated. Russian TV, with its wide entertainment offerings and its high production values, is popular among those who know the language—and along the way they end up absorbing Moscow's view of the world (often including large amounts of outright disinformation). Combating the influx of propaganda and is especially difficult for a country that prides itself on its adherence to European norms of the rule of law—and in particular the freedom of expression.And so it is that souvenir sellers in the Estonian capital of Tallinn do a fine business selling pro-Putin novelties even as the Russian leader and his entourage work to subvert the country's democratic government and its participation in European institutions. Image by Christian Caryl. Estonia, 2017.

The United States and its allies are struggling to cope with the threat posed by sophisticated Russian information warfare. Yet the discussion among western policymakers and commentators has so far neglected a vital source of useful expertise.

The front-line Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been confronting Kremlin-orchestrated cyberattacks, fake news, and online psychological warfare for more than a decade now—and they have put this experience to good use in developing strategies for pushing back.

Benefiting from his contacts in the security establishments of these countries, veteran journalist Christian Caryl collects valuable lessons learned from these places at the forefront of the current information war.