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Opinion
Josh Rogin

How Russia Is 'Weaponizing' Migration to Destabilize Europe

Anti-Muslim sentiment fuels far-right parties sympathetic to the Kremlin.
Russia benefits from the rise of far-right parties in Europe.

Russia benefits from the rise of far-right parties in Europe.

Photographer: LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Some officials in Europe see Russia's hand in the rising migration crisis, accusing the Kremlin of exacerbating anti-Muslim sentiment to benefit right-wing parties at a fragile moment for the European Union.

Even before the latest terror attacks in Brussels, anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment in Europe had been on the rise. Most of the refugees arriving in Europe are escaping war and poverty in the Middle East and seeking a better life in the West. But according to European officials, other migrants are traveling into the Nordic and Baltic states from Russia and are not fleeing the fighting in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, but rather have been living in Russia and are being encouraged by the Kremlin to join the tide in Western Europe.