StopFakeNews #77 with Andriy Sawchuk

StopFakeNews #77 with Andriy Sawchuk

Andriy Sawchuk hosts the latest edition of StopFake News. This week’s fakes include a dubious poll about the annexation of Crimea, a fake ban of the Russian language in Kyiv, the mystery of the disappearing Russian flags in Spain and would Kharkiv and Odessa really welcome Russian invaders?

Center for Monitoring Propaganda and Disinformation Online Set to Open in Russia

In December 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the Internet Economy Forum, where he suggested Russian federal security service and other state agencies should make “information threats” their top priority and seek out tools for monitoring such threats online. Now, a new center for monitoring information attacks is set to be launched in Innopolis, a new Russian “smart city,” created as a satellite to Kazan, the capital of

Fake: Merkel Takes Selfie with Belgian Suicide Bomber

On March 25 the obscure German website Mmnews.de published a story entitled “Merkel: a Selfie with the Brussels terrorist?” speculating whether Merkel had been photographed with one of the Brussels terrorists, 25-year old Najim Laachraoui. Later the photo was republished by the group called Anonymous Kollektiv on the Russian social media site V Kontakte. Anonymous Kollektiv are not the same as the group called simply Anonymous. Anonymous Kollektiv is an

Getting The News From Chechnya – The Crackdown On Free Press You May Have Missed

When a minivan with eight Russian and European journalists and human rights activists was attacked on March 9 by a band of professional thugs near the border of Ingushetia and Chechnya last week, the story was covered briefly in some world news outlets but didn’t attract much attention. Putin’s war in Syria has distracted from the war in Ukraine; both wars have distracted from the lower-level, even if worsening conflict

The new propaganda wars

Even though the Berlin Wall was destroyed more than a quarter-century ago and the city rebuilt, new propaganda wars are being waged here and elsewhere by the major and some minor powers in a more sophisticated way than the Soviets ever imagined, Richard W. Rahn wrote for Washington Times. Disinformation has always been a staple of states and spies, but now the world’s airways are being swamped with state-controlled TV

Russian Media Outlets Falsely Accuse Belarusian Brothers of Brussels Attack

On March 14, eight days before the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the Russian media outlet Lifenews reported (archive) that two Belarusian brothers, Ivan and Aleksey Dovbash, and an accomplice, Marat Yunusov, were planning a terrorist attack in Belgium. After terrorist attacks did take place in Belgium the following week, Lifenews doubled down, naming the brothers Dovbash and Yunusov as the “alleged” suicide bombers who attacked a metro station and airport in Brussels. Lifenews also reported (archive)

Yahoo Reports First Content Removal Requests from the Russian Government

Yahoo, the American multinational Internet and technology company, has released its latest transparency report, listing the numbers of government requests for user data or requests to remove user-generated content during the second half of 2015. For the first time, Yahoo has reported receiving content removal requests from the Russian government. The transparency report says Russian government agencies submitted six requests to remove content between the months of July and December

Russia’s information warfare – airbrushing reality

Authors:  Ben Nimmo is a senior fellow at the Institute for Statecraft in London specialising in Russian information warfare and influence. He formerly worked as a press officer at NATO and a journalist in Brussels and the Baltic States. Dr Jonathan Eyal is the Associate Director, Strategic Research Partnerships, and International Director of the Royal United Services Institute. He also serves as a Senior Research Fellow and Editor of the

Russian Media Publicize Dubious Crimea Poll

On the eve of the second anniversary of the Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, official Russian publications RTand Ria Novosti published stories claiming that one in three Europeans consider Crimea Russian. RT claims that Russia’s Sputnik news agency ordered a poll conducted by the British Populus and French Ifop research companies which revealed that a quarter of Americans and a third of Europeans consider the Crimean peninsula to be a

Fake: Kyiv City Council Proposes Completely Banning Russian

The Russian web publication Ukraina.ru published a story claiming that “representatives of the Ukrainian capital’s government are advocating the exclusive use of  the  Ukrainian state language on the territory of the city”. This fake story uses a draft proposal by Kyiv city council member Yuriy Syrotiuk registered on March 11. Syrotiuk proposes to establish that Ukrainian be used in city advertising, record keeping and official communication with the residents of

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