Stories in the ‘Context” section are not fakes. We publish them in order to provide greater insight for our readers about the techniques, methods and practices used by the Russian government in its information war.

Why Facebook is more revealing on nudity than on Russian disinformation

By EU vs Disinfo Researchers, election observers, and governments alike all struggle to measure the scope and impact of Russian disinformation campaigns. So far, sporadic press releases by online platforms constitute the bulk of first-hand evidence of these campaigns, as is the case with Facebook’s latest takedown of Russian operations targeting African countries. More systematic access to this evidence will be key to tackling disinformation and election meddling. Even though

“Distracting the audience from the real problems”

By EU vs Disinfo Maria Borzunova is a Russian journalist who works for the independent online TV channel TV Rain. Together with her colleague Ilya Shepelin, she hosts a weekly programme on TV Rain called ‘Fake News’, which describes and debunks disinformation broadcast by the dominating, mainly state-controlled national TV channels.  In this exclusive interview, Maria Borzunova discusses why the disinformation is such a dominant feature on the large TV

OSCE Media Rep collaborates with Russia on propaganda event in Moscow

By Halya Coynash, for Human Rights in Ukraine An OSCE conference has taken place in Moscow and been very widely covered by Russian state-controlled media.  This is hardly surprising, given the clear propaganda benefit for Russia from the event on 6 November, initiated by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir with the support of Russia’s Foreign Ministry. In his opening address, Désir tried hard to give

“Russia is the world champion in free speech”

By EU vs Disinfo “Russia is the world champion in free speech.” This claim was made by the Russian TV host and state media boss Dmitry Kiselyov during a lecture he delivered to students of journalism at Moscow State University on 23 October. Mr Kiselyov repeated his own remark at a Russian journalism conference held in Sochi earlier this autumn. #149 out of 180 It is not difficult to make

Whataboutism at its best

By EU vs Disinfo Paedophilia in Finland. Civil war in the US. Total feminist destruction of men in the West. The usual fever dreams of the pro-Kremlin media were out in full force this week (ok, when are they not?!), milking the entire spectrum of master narratives that are the hallmark of Russia’s vast and multifaceted disinformation machinery. In a nutshell, this alternate reality posits, the Western establishment and institutional order threaten everything that “we”, ordinary

Propaganda under pressure

By EU vs Disinfo The Russian state-controlled TV channel Pervy Kanal is in serious financial trouble, the business daily Vedomosti reports. According to Vedomosti’s sources, the channel’s problems have begun to affect one of its creditors, the Ostankino TV Centre in Moscow, which is responsible for broadcasting the channel’s programmes, and where Pervy Kanal rents premises and technical facilities. Pervy Kanal (in English also known as Channel One Russia) plays a

Kremlin network blaming Ukraine for MH17 crash

By Anatolii Baronin, for UNIAN With the approach of the MH17 trial set to start March 2020, the Kremlin is trying to discredit the findings of the Joint Investigation Team to escape from responsibility for the downing of the civilian jet over the Donbas in July 2014. To this end, the Russian Federation has set up a network of organizations and agents of influence in Europe tasked with smearing the

Elvis beats Lenin: Confidence is key against disinformation

By Robert Pszczel, for Disinfo Portal This article is a part of a special series for #StratComDC 2019. Learn more at A century ago, the Bolshevik leader, Vladimir Lenin, claimed that “a lie told often enough becomes the truth.” It sounds like a cynical but realistic assessment of current times, no? Not quite, Vladimir Ilyich, don’t open your bottle of Stolichnaya to celebrate just yet. There is plenty to

Facebook moves to curb Russian interference in African politics

By Polygraph This week’s takedown of Facebook and Instagram accounts that were used to interfere with African political affairs has provided new insight into the extent to which a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin is engaged in the continent, analysts say. Facebook announced Wednesday that, after a weeks-long investigation, it was removing pages that have been linked to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman accused of financing similar efforts

Slovak StratCom: active individuals, but in need of whole-of-government policies

By Katarína Klingová, for Disinfo Portal This article is a part of a special series for #StratComDC 2019. Learn more at We live in the age of disinformation in which armies of ideologically motived opponents, radicalized citizens, paid trolls, and automated bots exchange online salvos of posts, likes, and comments. Foreign actors have attempted to influence democratic processes, public discourse, and stir public perceptions in countries around the world.

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