Context

News in the section ‘Context’ are not fakes. We publish them in order to provide you with a deeper understanding of the techniques and methods used by the Russian government in its information war.

Kremlin Watch Monitor. April 19, 2017

Invitation: How Europe sees Putin’s Russia On April 24, we will present a new major study in the European Parliament, which evaluates policies of individual EU28 countries towards Russia. It is our pleasure to invite you to the public hearing (www.europeanvalues.net/putin/). New publication: How Kremlin controls major Russian media We would like to introduce a new Kremlin Watch Report, authored by Ilyas Sharibzhanov, Analyst of the Kremlin Watch Programme. Mass

Small time propagandists

Written by Inga Spriņģe, Re:Baltica Who is polluting the Baltic internet in Russian? U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to end financing for the Baltic states. This screaming headline was published in March 2017 by the website rubaltic.ru which resembles a news portal and operates under the auspices of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University in Kaliningrad, Russia. The task was to create the impression that the U.S., which is

Revealed: Confessions of a Kremlin Troll

Being paid by the Russian government to troll the internet just isn’t what it used to be. By Katie Davies, for The Moscow Times Russia’s paid government trolls have been blamed for everything from the fall of Hillary Clinton to the conflict in Ukraine — They have dominated headlines and sparked political intrigue. But is clocking in as a professional troll really everything it seems? Following in the footsteps of other

The Khan Sheikhoun Chemical Attack — Who Bombed What and When?

By Christiaan Triebert, for Bellingcat Last week, we published a survey of open source evidence concerning the alleged chemical attack at Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province. This article builds upon the information presented in that article by comparing the claims made by a variety of actors and sources, including the Pentagon, the Syrian Foreign Ministry, and aircraft spotters on the ground. All times mentioned in this article are in the

Meet Russia’s Warrior-Writer and Bloodthirsty Priest

By Nikolay Syrov, for Global Voices In addition to being a prominent contemporary writer in Russia, Zakhar Prilepin is a vocal political ideologue. A member of the National Bolshevik Party, he hosts a talk show on the nationalist, ultra-conservative Tsargrad TV network. Prilepin is also the chief editor of Svobodnaya Pressa, another pro-Kremlin media outlet that focuses on politics, the military, and economics. On March 13, Prilepin appeared in a

After Moving Servers to Russia, LiveJournal Bans ‘Political Solicitation’

Last December, the blogging platform LiveJournal — purchased in 2007 by the Russian company SUP Media — finally relocated its data servers from California to Russia. Calling attention to the shift, Anton Nossik (a former advisor to SUP Media) declared, “LJ’s servers have moved ‘closer’ not to its authors and readers, but to those who want to monitor them.” This Tuesday, April 4, LiveJournal released an updated user agreement, revealing what

Sputnik’s unknown brother

By Inga Spriņģe, Sanita Jemberga, Re:Baltica Three Baltic Russian-language news sites known collectively as Baltnews are secretly linked to the Kremlin’s global propaganda network. Three years ago, the Kremlin decided to power up its propaganda efforts and created Sputnik News, a younger brother to the globally-known TV channel RT. The new multimedia news agency opened offices around the world, including in the three Baltic capitals. Meanwhile, another news portal for

Kremlin Watch Monitor. April 5, 2017

Invitation to the Expert Roundtable How Europe sees Putin’s Russia The purpose of this event is to discuss how various allied states perceive the threat which Russian Federation poses to European security infrastructure and internal affairs of Western democracies. A new comparative study “How Europe sees Putin’s Russia” by the European Values Think-Tank will be presented. It will analyse security strategies, foreign policy strategies and annual reports of allied intelligence

Photographs of Ukrainian Buks Geolocated, Nearly Three Years Later

By Bellingcat On July 15, 2014, a chaplain for the Ukrainian Armed Forces named O. (short for “otets,” or “father”) Gredil Mykhailo uploaded a handful of photographs showing a Ukrainian Buk missile launcher in a field that appeared to function as a Ukrainian military camp. The photographs would not be noteworthy if it were not for two things: the fact that Mykhailo uploaded the photographs two days before the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight

Terror in Russia and the West: A Need for Compassion

Europe’s lights were dark for St. Petersburg’s tragedy. It was neither right, nor smart. By Mark Galeotti, for The Moscow Times Whatever one may think about lighting public buildings in the colors of foreign flags to show solidarity after tragedies, it has nonetheless become a custom, and the absence of Russia’s red, white, and blue following Monday’s terrorist bombing did not go unnoticed. In the process, one more opportunity to

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