The same is being said in the US about China and its government-sponsored Confucius Institute as Russian "soft power." See The Diplomat, China's Confucius Institutes and the Soft War and The price of Confucius Institutes at The Washington Post.
What Paul Robinson doesn't mention is that the US has been doing this globally for decades through NGOs that are least partially government-funded if not entirely, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Moreover, there are indication that these NGOs are CIA front-organization. See Robert Parry, CIA’s Hidden Hand in ‘Democracy’ Groups. Russia and China recently banned them for operating as foreign agents.
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa