Russia is increasingly turning to armies of legal professionals to press its interests and bully its detractors in the West. The experience of Sergei Pugachev is a case in point.
In Syria, as in Ukraine and Georgia before, Russia is using warfare to achieve its goals, operating through brute force and fear. In the West, it uses lawfare, exploiting the rule of law to launch politically motivated cases that are factually or legally meritless in order to terrorize individuals in the Kremlin’s sights.
The Pugachev and Yukos cases hint at the extent to which the Kremlin uses Western lawyers to defend its interests, but in other cases Russia’s fingerprints are far less evident.