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Tag: disinformation

A clash of narratives

In the clash of narratives between Russia and NATO states, Moscow has clearly gained an upper hand. Russian success stems not only from the fact that the Kremlin has been able to send a much clearer and more coherent message than the Alliance, but also because NATO states do not have one narrative, or counter-narrative.
One of the central concerns when analysing international security and its history is how to explain certain events and their impact on international politics. For policy-makers and societies it is crucial to define “who we are” and “what kind of world order we want”. The passing decade has been marked by a return to a crisis between the West and Russia (sometimes referred to as the New Cold War), with conflict over Russian aggression in Ukraine being the most striking example.

January 28, 2020 - Wojciech Michnik

The poisonous apple

Access to information is a fundamental human right and it has helped build the sovereignty of nations. In the years to come, the concept of “information sovereignty”, advocated by Moscow or Beijing, may turn the tide and damage democratic empowerment. Central and Eastern Europeans should care for their own information sovereignty, but in the first place we should get it right.

In autumn 2018 Poland was celebrating its 100 years of independence. On that occasion the European Solidarity Centre and private television station, TVN24, organised a televised discussion with historians who reflected on the significance of reinstating sovereignty. Timothy Snyder, the American historian and author of Bloodlands, spoke at large about the many dimensions of the concept, and invoked the notion “information sovereignty” – a collective effort to establish free media as well as developing countermeasures to push back against aggressive disinformation campaigns from Bolshevik Russia. Information warfare was as present and real a danger back then as it is today; except that wireless meant mostly long wave radio broadcast.

January 27, 2020 - Wojciech Przybylski

The role of a journalist in the age of disinformation

Information aggressors, especially the Russian Federation, are not “reinventing the wheel”. They use existing mechanisms. Journalists and the media, regardless of the provenance, are the first on the “information front” in the war over people’s hearts and minds. They have a choice: ignore or refute this fact or accept their role as a key element in state security and the information space.

The Russian aggression against Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 introduced a new type of warfare which has proved very effective in the digital era. This new type of war is no longer aimed at taking over territories or resources, but rather influencing human behaviour. It involves non-kinetic activities, which are undertaken in cyber space and are cheaper than traditional methods, but – most importantly – more effective when applied towards western societies which are largely unprepared for this kind of hostile actions.

January 27, 2020 - Adam Lelonek

Talk Eastern Europe 26: Fighting anti-western narratives in Georgia

Welcome to Episode 26 of Talk Eastern Europe! This episode features an interview with Marta Ardashelia of Sova.News – a Russian language portal based in Georgia.

December 10, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Biological weapons resurface in disinformation campaigns

Since the poisoning of Sergei Skripal by Russian intelligence officers as well as the chemical attack by Assad forces in Douma, Moscow has ratcheted up its rhetoric about American biological weapons laboratories in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. By employing such allegations, Russia is sending dangerous signals to the US as a part of its ongoing confrontation with the West.

During a press briefing in Moscow on October 4th 2018, General Major Igor Kirillov, commander of Russia’s radiological, chemical and biological defence troops, stated that as a result of medical experimentation on people, which were conducted by a company belonging to the former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 73 Georgian citizens have been killed. Kirillov claimed that the US has financed biological laboratories in Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and is continuing to develop biological weapons “under the guise of peaceful research”.

August 26, 2019 - Nurlan Aliyev

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 8: The fight against disinformation

This episode of Talk Eastern Europe features a conversation on fighting disinformation with Jakub Kalenský, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Kalenský worked for the European Union’s East StratCom Task Force as the team lead for countering disinformation.

March 14, 2019 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Overcoming the damage of disinformation

Since 2014 Russian malicious activities against foreign targets in cyberspace, such as espionage and hacking, have been expanded to include political and electoral interference operations. It is clear that there is still much to be done to protect the West and its societies from these actions.

"Russian despotism not only counts ideas and sentiments for nothing but remakes facts; it wages war on evidence and triumphs in the battle” – Astolphe-Louis-Léonor Marquis de Custine.

It seems that not much has changed since Astolphe-Louis-Léonor Marquis de Custine, an illustrious French aristocrat, made this observation during a three-month tour of tsarist Russia nearly 180 years ago. Just as in 1839, in the last two or three years the Russian state seems to employ the tactics of deception, distortion and manipulation of information to gain political advantage. What has changed, however, is the technology

January 2, 2019 - Przemysław Roguski

They who must not be blamed for watching the tales: Russian propaganda in Ukraine

Since 2013, Russian media has been disseminating anti-Ukrainian propaganda which would enable and explain Russian intervention in Donbas. If the region is ever reintegrated into Ukraine, the Ukrainian government and people will need a lot of work and effort to reverse the negative image of the country in the minds of Donbas people.

January 5, 2018 - Mariia Terentieva

The ins and outs of the Czech disinformation community

The disinformation scene in the Czech Republic is relatively developed and intertwined with some of the country’s leading politicians, including president Miloš Zeman. Nevertheless, both the government and the civil society have recognised the threat and efforts have been made to address the problem.

November 8, 2017 - Markéta Krejčí

To inform, or disinform: Russia’s new propaganda war

Propaganda comes with a lot of myths and delusions, as the term has been widely overused in the past. Usually linked to rigid principles and a core ideology, it might seem inappropriate or inconsistent to use it nowadays, since we are overwhelmed by all kinds of theories, from the most conspiratorial to the more credible ones. Yet, we should not avoid the topic. As we are witnessing a new global-scale competition in the media sector, propaganda seems to be appearing once again. Western democracies, the cradle of countless independent newspapers, are witnessing a general crisis of confidence, general transition to the Internet and a declining quality of journalism.In light of such a crisis, at the opposite end of the spectrum, a new model of journalism is emerging. This model is characterised by a vertical chain of command, similar to military organisations, and an ambiguous attitude to the truth. The competition seems unequal; the latter type is becoming increasingly widespread and the traditional model of journalism, based upon a long tradition trust between the author and the reader, is gradually losing ground.

October 21, 2016 - Luc Maffre

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