The West should take on the Putin P.R. machine

The West should take on the Putin P.R. machine

Even before Russian President Vladimir Putin deployed forces to Syria, U.S. military officials described his regime as an “existential threat” in light of his invasion of Ukraine. Putin, who oversees one of the most corrupt, kleptocratic regimes in the world, has been driving the international agenda of late — from Ukraine to Syria — while Western leaders, including President Obama, have been reactive and defensive. Wouldn’t it be nice to

‘Unprecedented’ Challenge in Countering Adversarial Propaganda, Official Says

The United States is facing an unprecedented challenge in countering the propaganda of adversaries who recruit and easily spread misinformation through the Internet, a top defense official told a House panel yesterday. While there are many benefits to being in a cyber-connected world, there is also a “dark side” that adversaries are taking advantage of, according to Michael D. Lumpkin, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity

StopFakeNews #57 with Euan MacDonald

This week Euan MacDonald, a Kyiv Post editor, is the StopFake News guest anchor. The news website Russkaya Vesna falsely reported that Angela Merkel predicted there would be no future investment coming into Ukraine. The Russian news agency Sputnik published an article alleging why U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland had attempted to pressure the Ukrainian state administration. The Russia television network Zvezda posted a false report on its

A Russian Hybrid War in Belarus Could Take One of Two Forms, Denisenko Says

Viktor Denisenko, a Belarusian researcher at the University of Vilnius, says that a Russian hybrid war in Belarus could take one of two forms – “with Lukashenka” or “without Lukashenka” – but that in either case, Belarus would likely lose not only the conflict but its sovereignty as a country. In a report to the Congress of Belarusian Researchers earlier this month, Denisenko noted the term “hybrid war” had been

Actor ‘can’t stop laughing’ as Russian ambassador tweets ‘terrorist’ photo

Actor Kal Penn has found himself mistaken for a terrorist — again. After his character, Kumar Patel, was flagged as an Islamic extremist in the 2008 movie, “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” it seems the “terrorist” tag just won’t shake. Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian Ambassador to the UK, used a still from the movie — showing Kumar imagined as an extremist and taunting an elderly female airline passenger

No Need for Ukraine to “Return” Land to Poland

This week some Russian media incorrectly reported that after the signing of European Union Association Agreement, Ukraine would be obliged to return former Polish lands. The question of restitution (the return of former rights and property) was raised after the head of the Polish non-governmental organization Restitution of Borderlands, Renkas Konrad, announced on October 19 that he was going to file claims in Ukrainian courts in order to facilitate the

Fake: Polish President Calls for Return of Ukrainian Lands to Poland

Pro-Russian media falsely reported that Polish President Andrzej Duda had called for Poles to be “ready to fight for former Polish lands.” The alleged source was Polish anchorwoman Elżbieta Jaworowicz, who, it was claimed, had reported on the “Reporter’s Affair” program on the TVP 1 television network on the supposed speech made by Duda in the Polish city of Sejm. On October 20, the news website Russkaya Vesna posted the

Zvezda Falsely Cites Radio France Internationale for Sexual Harassment Report

On October 22, the Russia television network Zvezda posted a false report on its website claiming that “Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accused the leader of the Batkivshchyna political party, Yulia Tymoshenko, of sexual harassment.” It claimed that the original source for the story was an interview given by Yatsenyuk to a journalist of the Russian service of Radio France Internationale (RFI), Elena Servettaz. The RFI Russian service, however, immediately

What You Need to Know About Russian Social Networks to Conduct Open-Source Research

This article is part of a larger guidebook by RuNet Echo to help people learn how to conduct open-source research on the Russian Internet. Explore the complete guidebook at the special project page. Outside of the familiar English-language social networks of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and too many more to name, there is a handful of social media platforms used either exclusively or primarily in the post-Soviet world. While the instructions and

Russian roulette

Despite decades of intellectual isolation, the Soviet Union produced some fine science. When it imploded, only a wave of foreign aid and philanthropy protected that excellent research base from collapse. The strategy worked: as individualism and entrepreneurship took hold in Russia, science regained its strength and started to look outwards — as any successful research endeavour must in the twenty-first century. Yet Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that his country

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