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The only Russian MP to vote against the Crimea annexation has an idea for what the US should do about RT

Ilya Ponomarev is the only Russian MP who voted against the annexation of Crimea last year. He now lives in the U.S. because he is under investigation for embezzlement from a government-financed research institute called Skolkovo in Russia, charges that Ponomarev denies.  He was invited to be interviewed twice on RT in the past month, in the role of the exiled Kremlin opponent, where his opinions about Russian politics, Ukraine,

Sputnik Launches Norwegian Language Website

The Sputnik multimedia news agency has announced the launch of its Norwegian language web site. The new media resource, no.sputniknews.com, offers diverse perspectives on major international topics. Sputnik’s websites reflect today’s multipolar world and are geared toward audiences interested in comparing alternative points of view. The Norwegian language website is the latest addition to the family of Sputnik news resources in English, French, Serbian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Polish, Italian, Czech, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Farsi, Urdu, Dari, Pashto, Kurdish,

EU hiring ‘myth-busters’ on Russian propaganda

The EU foreign service is recruiting a handful of new experts to help counter Russia’s anti-Western propaganda. The job description, sent out on 20 March to EU states’ embassies in Brussels, says their task will be “correction and fact-checking of misinformation/myths”. It will also involve “development and regular updating of EU ‘narrative’ via key messages/lines to take, articles, op-eds, factsheets and infographics, with an emphasis on communicating the benefits of

Countering Putin’s Information Weapons of War

“Kremlin propaganda is far outstripping our ability to get the truth out. The U.S. needs a new approach,” – wrote Ed Roice for The Wall Street Journal. Vladimir Putin has a secret army. It’s an army of thousands of “trolls,” TV anchors and others who work day and night spreading anti-American propaganda on the Internet, airwaves and newspapers throughout Russia and the world. Mr. Putin uses these misinformation warriors to

Journalist’s Murder a Month Ago Sensationally Portrayed as More Recent

Dozens of Russian sites reported about the murder of the chief editor of the newspaper Netishynskyi Vistnyk, Olha Moroz, using such manipulative headlines as “One More Journalist Killed in Ukraine: She Wrote About Deforestation,” “Third Journalist’s Murder Committed in Ukraine,” and “One More Death in Ukraine: the Journalist Olha Moroz Was Killed.” In fact, the journalist was murdered a month earlier. Moskovskiy Komsomolets reported about the killing without its precise

New York’s anti-Ukrainian art gallery, and the far-right Russian network behind it

Two weeks ago a number of buses and subways engaged in an advertising blitz for an art exhibit opening in New York City titled “Material Evidence.” The gallery claimed to tour the reality of the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. Recently, this exhibit was allegedly vandalized and its curator attacked – so let’s get to the bottom of this. What is “Material Evidence”? Material Evidence is a photojournalism art gallery documenting various

Kremlin cash flows towards pro-Putin MEP

The so-called Latvian Human Rights Committee, connected to pro-Russian MEP Tatjana Ždanoka, received about €95,000 from the Fund for the Legal Protection and Support of Russian Federation Compatriots Living Abroad last year, reported Latvian Television LTV’s investigative news program De facto Sunday. Members of the board of the Committee, on their part have transferred up to €10,000 to Ždanoka’s political party Latvia’s Union of Russians. The Fund for the Legal

Fake: Kyiv Is Deserted, Ukrainians Are Leaving Their Country

Several Russian mass media bizarrely reported that Kyiv has become deserted as its residents are leaving the city. This was announced at a press conference by the political expert Yanina Sokolovska. “You can notice that there are a lot fewer people in subways, a lot fewer cars on the roads of Kyiv,” she said. “Many Ukrainians left our blessed Motherland.” This press conference was held in the press center of

Fake from Russian Foreign Minister: Yarosh Becomes Poroshenko Adviser

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, falsely stated on Dmitry Kiselyov’s program, “Vesti Nedeli,” that Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh had become an adviser to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The comments were also carried by the RF Foreign Ministry’s press service. Lavrov said: “As I understand, presently Dmitry Yarosh has become an adviser of the Supreme Commander-in Chief, in other words of Petro Poroshenko. This [Yarosh] is the person who

Fake: Five Indian Airplanes Falsely Reported Missing in Ukraine

Russian mass media falsely report that five Indian airplanes have gone missing during an upgrade in Ukraine. The airplanes, An-32s, were to be upgraded by the Ukrainian state-owned Antonov plant under a 2009 service contract. The news was posted on the sites of Zvezda TV, RIA Novosti, Vesti, and others. It was also re-posted by some Ukrainian Internet mass media. The news about five missing Indian airplanes first appeared on

Lithuania bans Russian language channel for “inciting discord”

This article is part of Index’s media freedom mapping project that monitors censorship in the European Union Lithuania has banned a Russian TV channel for “inciting discord, warmongering [and] spreading disinformation” according to the country’s media regulator. RTR Planeta, the international broadcasting service for the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK), a powerful state run media empire that operates more than a dozen TV channels and radio stations,

Staged April Fool’s Day Prank: Protesters Throw Manure at U.S. Embassy in Kyiv

On April 3, the Lifenews website published the headline: “Protesters Throw Manure at U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.” The story goes on to report that about two and a half thousand Ukrainians surrounded the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. They objected, it said, to the appointment of foreigners to the Ukrainian government, as well as to the intervention of Americans and Europeans in the public administration of the country. It should be

Russian Trolls’ Vast Library Of Insulting Images

Ever wonder where the droves of Russian-language Internet trolls get those satirical graphics they deploy to smear Western and Ukrainian leaders? Turns out there’s a website with a vast archive of images helping them pepper their posts with visual invective. Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported on April 2 that the website with the Cyrillic address вштабе.рф (“в штабе” translates from Russian as “in the headquarters”) hosts thousands of these ready-made images

Czech Echoes of the Kremlin’s Information War

2014 marked the end of the post-Cold War era as we knew it and revived the significance of geopolitics. The turmoil in Ukraine has come as the final blow to any hopes of having common, if tough, partner relations with the current regime of the Russian Federation. While the ravages of war and escalating diplomatic tensions have dominated the headlines for many months, the contours of a parallel struggle are

Fake: American Tanks Found in Donbas

The website for Zvezda, the television channel of the Russian Defense Ministry, incorrectly reported a news item entitled “American Military Machinery Fires at the Outskirts of Mariupol.” It was accompanied by a photograph of an American Abrams M1A2 tank with the Trident, the Ukrainian national symbol, painted on the hull of the tank. The story relayed that “an intelligence service team commander, cover name ‘Hindu,’ told about the new mysterious

Russian Propaganda Exploits Western Weakness

It is becoming clear that certain authoritarian models of government are capable of matching and, in some respects, even exceeding the accomplishments of their democratic counterparts. Whether Russia, with its dependence on energy exports and otherwise undiversified economy, should be counted among them is debatable, but there is one area in which the Russian state has so far demonstrated a clear mastery over its Western opponents: its propaganda or, to use the public relations term, its messaging. But impressive as the information component

Social Network Analysis Reveals Full Scale of Kremlin’s Twitter Bot Campaign

With the aid of open-source tools, Internet researcher Lawrence Alexander gathered and visualised data on nearly 20,500 pro-Kremlin Twitter accounts, revealing the massive scale of information manipulation attempts on the RuNet. In what is the first part of a two-part analysis, he explains how he did it and what he found. RuNet Echo has previously written about the efforts of the Russian “Troll Army” to inject the social networks and

Analytical Report on the Study «Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region»

From February 26 to February 28, 2015, Kyiv International Institute of Sociology was conducting a survey «Counteraction to Russian Propaganda in the Conflict Region» by the order of NGO Telekritika. The sample of the survey is representative for adult urban population of five oblasts: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk (including the regions being at entry out of the Ukrainian control). All in all, there were 561 interviews conducted in

Fake: Drunken Poroshenko Gives Soccer Ball to Legless Soldier

Several Russian media news sources, including Moskovskij Komsomolets and the Russian Defense Ministry’s channel Zvezda, mistakenly reported that the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, allegedly “lost touch with reality,” giving a soccer ball to a Ukrainian soldier “without legs” as a present. They also posted a video showing Poroshenko presenting the gift to the soldier in a wheelchair. However, it should be clarified that thanks to the efforts of his

Russia fighting information wars with borrowed weapons

“Life would be boring without rumors.” So said Russian President Vladimir Putin, upon re-emerging from a mysterious ten-day disappearance, during which the internet exploded with speculation he was dead. The Kremlin added fuel to the fire after posting photos of Putin on its website it claimed were current – but which turned out to have been images from a meeting that had taken place a week earlier. It’s not the

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