Russian “Hard Power” and “Soft Power” in Influencing Central and Eastern European Countries on the Example of Poland in the COVID-19 Era
Purpose: An attempt was made to determine the scope and actual implications resulting from the use of the Russian "hard power" and "soft power" concerning the CEE countries in the COVID-19 era based on the Russian impact on Poland in the period 2019/2020. Design/Methodology/Approach: The substantive components of the impact under study were obtained through a study. A synthesis method was applied, which allowed for grouping the originally separated components into three basic currents of hard influences: political, political-economic, and paramilitary. The comparison method was used to verify such a division of the Russian hard current and, if such a division is confirmed, to highlight the existing differences - especially between the first and second current. In the course of research on the methodology of the Kremlin's soft impact on the Polish decision-making process, the method of reviewing source materials of recognized reliability was used (query of scientific literature and expert studies), which were compared with quantitatively collected data obtained from media information to supplement the whole source material. The conclusions were formulated using induction and deduction methods. Findings: The Russian Federation uses political and economic and economic measures in the first place to influence using "hard power," and if it is not possible to influence such measures, it uses paramilitary measures. In the case of soft power impact, the Russian Federation mainly uses informational means in the form of so-called "social engineering" methodology (propaganda), where the main area of activity is virtual space. Practical Implications: This paper can be used in scientific and expert work dedicated to the Russian methodology of impact using "hard power" and "soft power." Originality/Value: Lack of comprehensive scientific studies dedicated to the methodology of using "hard power" and "soft power" means by the Russian Federation during the COVID-19 2019/2020 epidemic.