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Tag: disinformation

From war propaganda to aggression: recognizing a new crime

Disinformation has become an effective weapon in Russia’s ongoing assault against Ukraine. However, there is currently little that can be done to prosecute those guilty of spreading such dangerous narratives. A new framework is needed in order to effectively challenge this key part of Moscow’s war.

The brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, the full-scale stage of which began in February 2022, was both preceded and further accompanied by a rampant propaganda campaign that reached new heights of cynicism, bloodthirstiness and warmongering in just a matter of days. The propaganda machine spent immense resources on justifying Moscow’s heinous acts of aggression by employing a combination of manipulative and selective reporting on the hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

February 7, 2024 - Maksym Popovych

“We see you, Russia, and we know how to counter your practices.”

An interview with Martyna Bildziukiewicz, head of the European External Action Service’s East StratCom Task Force. Interviewer: Maciej Makulski.

May 24, 2023 - Maciej Makulski Martyna Bildziukiewicz

How effective is Russia’s information war?

It has been almost a decade since Russia’s information operations became widely recognised as a means by which Moscow can reach out to influence western democracies. And throughout almost all of that period, one question that has consistently been raised is whether or not these information operations work.

In addition to high-profile interventions of Russian disinformation, such as attempts to influence elections in the United States, there are multiple other targeted campaigns in which Russia has sought to bring about specific outcomes in target countries. This has all been happening alongside long-running operations designed simply to degrade a particular country’s societal cohesion or trust in institutions.

April 29, 2023 - Keir Giles

Can we win the information war?

A conversation with Mattia Caniglia, Roman Osadchuk and Ruslan Trad, disinformation experts with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Laboratory (DFRLab). Interviewers: Maciej Makulski and Adam Reichardt

April 29, 2023 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

How Ukraine breaks Russia’s weaponised propaganda and disinformation

Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression continues to make headlines around the world. However, what has not been discussed to any great extent is the fight against disinformation and collaborators on the home front. With no end in sight to the fighting, it is clear that such espionage could prove pivotal to the war’s outcome.

More than a year into Russia's full-scale war on Ukraine, the fight with Moscow’s propaganda is entering another important stage. Despite all the efforts of Ukraine’s special and secret services, there are still some pro-Russian Ukrainians or Russian citizens themselves who are spies, trying to provide essential information to the Russian Federal Security Service.

April 29, 2023 - Vladyslav Faraponov

The constant struggle of building resilience: the case of Czechia

While in the region Czechia can be considered a positive case in resisting authoritarian influence, it has been far from perfect, especially when considering its recent turbulence. Nevertheless, there are now a lot of practices countering malign influence – including that of China – in Czechia that could serve as examples for both the region and the wider EU.

Since February 24th 2022, the whole of Europe and the world have been witnessing a new phase in the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which has reshaped the European – and to a large extent also the global – security order. Issues such as the shelling of Ukraine’s nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, often described as “nuclear blackmail”, frightened the global community into fearing a repeat of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe in the Soviet Union.

April 29, 2023 - Pavel Havlicek

Russian propaganda in Poland in the context of parliamentary elections

De facto pro-Russian communities are clearly consolidating in the context of the upcoming Polish parliamentary elections. The groups in question are made up of people who have contacts with entities linked to the Russian state. We can assume that the Russian Federation not only supports such groups through the Polish-language sources it runs, but also has influence on the activity of some of the people operating within these communities.

By mid-2022, the first activities of those promoting pro-Russian statements in the Polish information sphere were clearly perceptible, indicating the growing consolidation of a broad pro-Russian community with political ambitions. The start of 2023, especially the first weeks of the year, only further showed this to be the trend.

April 29, 2023 - Michał Marek

Disinformation can be tackled through everyday habits

A conversation with Agnieszka Legucka, an analyst with the Polish Institute of International Affairs. Interviewer: Maciej Makulski

MACIEJ MAKULSKI: Do you see a qualitative difference in Russia’s information war strategy in recent times, especially since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine? Or is it rather more of the same?

AGNIESZKA LEGUCKA: We are definitely in an information war. On the one hand Russia has been challenged by several blockades, especially in the European Union, of its so called media like RT, Sputnik, or 60 минут (60 minutes, a TV show broadcasted on the state-owned Channel One Russia – editor’s note). On the other hand, Russia has adapted to this new situation by moving to the “underground”, as seen through closed Facebook groups. Russian trolls have started to be much more active in several different countries. There is evidence that the trolls are very active in countries such as Hungary and Germany, which might be seen as weak spots.

April 29, 2023 - Agnieszka Legucka Maciej Makulski

“Whose side is Facebook on in this war?” Lithuanian activists ask

With little leverage against social media giants such as Meta, countries like Lithuania face an uphill battle in the fight against disinformation online.

April 25, 2023 - Dzmitry Pravatorau

It is finally time to counter Russian interference

One year after the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the West’s unity and support for Kyiv still holds strong. However, Moscow’s other, often more covert, operations and interference have still been allowed to run rampant across the globe, with little done to counteract their damaging impact.

March 8, 2023 - Cameron MacBride

Friend or foe? The role of social media during Russia’s war in Ukraine

In the era of social divisions, public disputes and widespread polarisation of views, one phenomenon seems indisputable – social media has become an important element of life both in the private and public spheres. Understanding the peculiarities of these tools has also become an important social and business skill. Yet should social media management be considered a political and military competence as well? The Russian war in Ukraine suggests a positive answer. The terms “like”, “share”, “click”, “comment”, “tweet” or “swipe” have begun to have serious consequences and are – literally – a weapon of mass (media) destruction.

February 15, 2023 - Agnieszka Grzechynka

American agents of misinformation: Tulsi Gabbard, Russian propaganda and article 88

Kremlin apologists spreading disinformation during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine can be found on both sides of the aisle in US politics.

October 12, 2022 - Alan Cunningham

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