Context

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.

InfoShum: The New Trend in Kremlin Propaganda

By EU vs Disinfo There is truth and there is post-truth. There is information and there is disinformation. But in the grey zone between these categories, there is infoshum – Russian for “info-noise”. The word recently gained traction in Russia after columnist Oleg Kashin published an article in the magazine Republic headlined: “State Duma to *Deal with Masturbation: Where Does the Meaningless News about Onishchenko and Pushkov Come From?”  Columnist: State-controlled information noise  The word infoshum has

#PackOfLies: Lessons from Georgia

European Values Think Tank’s study “Russia’s disinformation activities and counter-measures: lessons from Georgia” published on September 18th provides us with the lessons, from which, according to the researchers, we can see how Georgia has been dealing with Kremlin’s disinformation in recent years. Perhaps the most significant lesson to be drawn here is that some politicians talking about the danger of disinformation is clearly not enough: the fight against disinformation has

Kremlin Watch Briefing: Russian intelligence gaffes: Bellingcat identifies second Skripal suspect, Dutch government reveals counterintelligence operation against GRU agents

NEW PUBLICATION Hybrid Analytica: Pro-Kremlin Expert Propaganda in Moscow, Europe and the U.S.: A Case Study on Think Tanks and Universities  The Institute of Modern Russia (IMR) has published a new report by Dr. Kateryna Smagliy, with contributions by Ilya Zaslavskiy, that traces the insidious web of connections between Russian oligarchs and Western research institutions. Dr. Smagliy was a Special Fellow at the European Values Think-Tank during the summer of 2018. The report examines

Going off script, RT style

By EU vs Disinfo Imagine you are a journalist from a Western country who has been hired to work for RT (Russia Today).   Perhaps you’re excited to now be a part of a large international network; but you are probably also very aware of the sensitivities surrounding a media outlet which is known as the propaganda mouthpiece of a foreign and not exactly friendly government.  “I need to balance this and be as cautious as I can; I don’t want to harm my reputation or put my employer in an awkward situation,” is probably how the inner voice of an

Figure of the Week: 919

By EU vs Disinfo StopFake is – as the name suggests – a media project which tries to stop “fake news” and disinformation. Among other actors in the field of pushing back on pro-Kremlin disinformation, StopFake has a special status. Since its start in Kyiv in 2014, StopFake has focused on debunking disinformation targeting the team’s home country, Ukraine. Following Ukraine’s 2014 revolution, the Kremlin has used disinformation systematically as a

Viral “manspreading” video is staged Kremlin propaganda

By EU vs Disinfo A young woman walks up to a man in a subway train and pours liquid over him from a plastic bottle. The scene is repeated a number of times with different men who all react with anger and bewilderment. We are told that they are being punished for “manspreading”, i.e. for sitting with their legs wide open. The video went viral worldwide after it was published by In The

Tailored for disinformation heavy users: Conspiracy theories on biological weapons

By EU vs Disinfo Never heard of the Lugar laboratory in Georgia? Neither have many of us. But it is a familiar name for the readers of a whole network of websites promoting the most obscure pro-Kremlin conspiracies globally. Just to highlight some examples: 2016: The US is constructing secret biological labs in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine to attack Russia.  2017: American laboratory in Georgia creates biological weapons. 2018: US laboratory in Georgia is like a Nazi

No Evidence for Putin claim that ‘scumbag’ Skripal sanctified in West

By Polygraph Valdimir Putin President of Russia Some media outlets are “pushing through a theory that Mr. Skripal is some sort of a rights activist. He’s plainly a spy. A traitor to his homeland. There’s such a thing – being a traitor to the homeland. He is one … Imagine, if there’s a person in your country who betrayed it. How would you treat him? He’s plainly scum.” Source: RT,

Russia’s double media standards

By EU vs Disinfo “Russophobic sentiment in the media is being ratcheted up in France under the pretext of countering disinformation”.  This statement was delivered by Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a press briefing in Moscow on 7 September where she commented on the publication of a new French study about information manipulation. The spokesperson also claimed that outside Russia, “Russian information agencies RT and Sputnik were publicly called agents

Don’t feed the Kremlin’s trolls!

By Corina Rebegea, for CEPA Old tropes about American hegemony, Western neo-colonialism, and hypocrisy appear constantly on Kremlin-friendly outlets in Romania (such as Sputnik and other fringe websites and blogs) and on Facebook. But internal political dynamics and polarization have helped push some of these narratives into mainstream public debate. This feeds directly into the Kremlin’s opportunistic approach to disinformation and allows it to prey on existing tensions in Romanian

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