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.

How ’fake news’ and disinformation were spread in the run-up to Taiwan’s presidential elections

By New Bloom, for Global Voices This post first appeared in the online magazine New Bloom on January 6, 2020, before the presidential election took place in Taiwan. This edited version is being republished on Global Voices under a content partnership agreement. There are two dissemination channel categories: online and offline Puma Shen (沈伯洋), assistant professor at the National Taipei University’s Graduate School of Criminology and director of the Taiwan-based

Kremlin propagandist doubting the religion of denial

By EU vs Disinfo Iran’s admission to shooting down Ukrainian International Airlines’ flight 752 has created big problems for the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets. This is clearly visible in this week’s cases of disinformation. The pro-Kremlin media started its well-oiled disinformation machinery along well-known narratives: profit-hungry Ukrainians used an old, derelict aircraft, ready for scrapping; only the US had the capacity to shoot down the aircraft – and is methodically shooting

Admitting a lie: Why the Kremlin should give it a try

By EU vs Disinfo Russian state media were put in an awkward position when Tehran on Saturday admitted having downed Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752, allegedly due to a mistake. The Iranian incident echoed that of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, apparently also due to a mistake. The Kremlin still denies its responsibility for this incident, in spite of overwhelming evidence. We

What do the pro-Kremlin media mean by “Anglo-Saxons”?

By EU vs Disinfo In its relentless disinformation efforts, the pro-Kremlin media tend to fill words with alternative meaning. Here’s a brief explanation of what is behind some of those words. Some 1600 years ago, Germanic tribes migrated to the British Isles. Today these tribes are known as Anglo-Saxons. But the pro-Kremlin media has given this historical term a whole new meaning. According to Russian state-controlled TV, US President Donald

Pro-Kremlin Media Attempts to Make Fascism Politically Correct

By EU vs Disinfo Pro-Kremlin media have recently started to express sympathy for Fascism. This is not entirely new: The Web Site News Front, based in illegally annexed Crimea, has been praising Hitler and Nazism; pro-Kremlin Russia Insider is not only attempting to whitewash Nazism, but is also openly anti-Semitic. But recently, this passion for Fascism seems to have reached new levels. Here are some quotes from January 2020: “Mussolini

Disinformation Review: Twenty Years of Distorting the Media

By EU vs Disinfo This week’s disinformation cases reflect a culture of resentment that has become an established trend in the loyal pro-Kremlin media over the last decade. The Russian word обида – “obida” – umbrage, resentment, pouting, holding a grudge – has become a core element in shaping public attitudes by the state media’s spin doctors. The Russian writer Andrey Arkhangelsky, featured earlier on our website,  writes in an

Hirak protests and a presidential election triggered a surge of disinformation in Algeria

By Farah Souames, for Global Voices Algeria’s popular protest movement, ‘’Hirak’’ [meaning “movement’’ in Arabic], brought a glimpse of online freedom, but also an aggressive wave of ‘’fake news’’ and disinformation on social media platforms. With little means to confront or fix the problem, the battle against the spread of disinformation is far from over. The protest movement started on February 22, 2019 when then-ageing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his

Ten myths get in the way of understanding Soviet-era dissidents, Davydov says

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia In a detailed and heavily footnoted 19,000 word article for the Liberal Mission Foundation, Viktor Davydov, himself a dissident in Soviet times, says there are ten myths about dissidents that continue to get in the way of an understanding of those grouped under that term and their influence. He specifies that he is not referring to the official Soviet myth that dissidents were paid

RT chief accuses Fox News, NBC and Bloomberg of ignoring Iran protests over Soleimani

By Polygraph Margarita SimonyanChief Editor of RT (Russia Today) and Rossiya Segodnya“This is how it is today in Iran. The picture of our agency Ruptly. On Fox News, NBC and Bloomberg there is no such picture. More precisely, there is no picture from the protests. As well as [no] mention of the protests themselves.” Source: Twitter, Jan. 3, 2020 False Contrary to Simonyan’s claim, Fox News, NBC and Bloomberg –

Russian lawmaker: ‘Trump did not understand the significance of Soleimani’

By Fatima Tlis, for Polygraph Elena PaninaRussian lawmaker“In this situation, we cannot exclude that the American military and intelligence agencies took advantage of the story of the disturbances near the U.S. Embassy in Iraq in their corporate interests and simply framed Donald Trump, who did not fully understand the significance of the figure of Qassem Soleimani, who has the status of a national hero in Iran.” Source: RIA.ru, Jan. 3,

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