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.

A Russian top politician reaches for the Moon

By EU vs Disinfo The Moon has fascinated people since the beginning of time. Poets, painters, soothsayers, healers and scientists have all used the Moon to explain the unexplainable. In ancient times, the Moon was thought to cause mental disorders – lunacy. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing. A giant step for mankind. We, as a species, reached out and grabbed the moon. And despite

Crimea: Game not over

By EU vs Disinfo “Krym – nash! Crimea is ours!”  This was the slogan Russian authorities used for celebrating the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula – a process which started five years ago, in February 2014. Since then, the Crimean question has not only been a struggle over territory; the annexation also laid the ground for a struggle over truth, which remains until this day. Polite and green men Heavily

The leprous distilment of disinformation

By EU vs Disinfo Sleeping within my orchard My custom always of the afternoon, Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, And in the porches of my ears did pour The leperous distilment William Shakespeare; Hamlet, Act I, Scene V. There’s poison everywhere. Fake poison, real poison. Pro-Kremlin disinformation media are claiming that Sergei Skripal has been dead for half a year and that

Disinfo analysis: Moscow’s Balkan defeat

By Polygraph has used North Macedonia as the shorter version of the new official name of the Republic of North Macedonia. Since the new name came into force on February 12, 2019, we have used the earlier name Macedonia for past events and prior quotations. Contrary to Kremlin’s assertion that North Macedonia is a small country of little strategic importance to NATO, Moscow has invested substantial efforts to undermine

Kremlin Watch Briefing: The new British report summarizing the British inquiry into disinformation includes exemplary recommendations

Topics of the Week The UK Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee published its final report on disinformation with multiple recommendations, including the necessity of social media to take legal responsibility for harmful content and the reform of electoral laws. Three online video channels targeting American millennials have been suspended by Facebook due to evidence they are funded by the Russian government. New Robotrolling: On the social network VK, only 14 % of messages

Propaganda and disempowerment

By EU vs Disinfo Mass media are grouped along two major concepts: Media as a Forum or media as a Tribune. This is, of course, a theoretical model to describe two ideal types of relations between the media and its audience. The concept of the Forum is based on a horizontal exchange of ideas and views. In general, the media lends itself to a function as a space for a public discourse. The forum is not a

Russian state media decries Ukraine for renaming its own cities

By Polygraph RIA Novosti Russian state-owned media outlet “‘Not Odessa, but Kotsyubeyev!’ Why does Kyiv erase the real names of cities” Source: RIA Novosti website FALSE Ukraine is a sovereign country that can rename its cities as it sees fit: there are no “real” names. On February 11, the Russian state-owned media outlet RIA Novosti published an op-ed criticizing Ukraine’s renaming of towns and other toponyms in accordance with the

“Party of war” or “pro-peace?”

By Poman Shutov, for Ukrainian Election Task Force To discredit some of the candidates running in the upcoming Ukrainian presidential election, Kremlin propaganda outlets accuse candidates trying to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression of warmongering. Meanwhile, these propaganda outlets praise Ukrainian candidates who advocate for peace “here and now” under Moscow’s conditions, labeling them pro-peace candidates. Thus, the Kremlin-controlled propaganda machine uses the candidates’ various roadmaps for peace as yet

Are Russian trolls saving measles from extinction?

By Ron Synovitz, for RFE/RL Scientific researchers say Russian social-media trolls who spread discord before the 2016 U.S. presidential election may also have played an unintended role in a developing global health crisis. They say the trolls may have contributed to the 2018 outbreak of measles in Europe that killed 72 people and infected more than 82,000 — mostly in Eastern and Southeastern European countries known to have been targeted

Witch-Hunt! Which Hunt?

By EU vs Disinfo This has been a rough week for Russia. The country is subject to a witch-hunt in Germany, Latvia is provoking the EU to fight with Russia, and while the EU might be decaying and falling apart, it is still capable of striking terrible blows on Russia, a country that has never done any harm to anyone. In addition to those false claims, even the ambassador of the EU to Russia is

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