News in the section ‘Context’ are not fakes. We publish them in order to provide you with a deeper understanding of the techniques and methods used by the Russian government in its information war.

The Disinformation Awards

By EU vs Disinfo Every year, Russian television celebrates itself and its celebrities at a ceremony where awards are presented to the industry’s most acknowledged professionals. Just like the Emmy Awards in the US, the Russian show, known as the TEFI Awards, is broadly publicised in the media. This year, prizes were presented to hosts and shows which turned out have one particular feature in common: Impressive track records in

The man who wanted more

By Paweł Reszk, Pavla Holcova, for VSQUARE Alexander Usovski was active in the Visegrad region, set up foundations, looked for EU grants, finally received money from Russia in cash, without leaving any paper trail. That’s how he started to organize a network of dutiful and useful people. And indeed, everything went just the way his sponsor wanted. The case of Alexander Usovsky, a Belarusian-born activist, is the first so thoroughly documented

TV personality claims to have been offered to become RT’s anchor for a Hungarian language channel

By Antónia Rádi and Anita Kőműves, for A Hungarian TV personality claims that he was offered to become the face of Russian TV channel RT in Hungary, but he was dropped because of embarrassing stories published about him. László Juszt claims that it was a story by Átlátszó that destroyed his career plans and he is suing us now for compensation. However, RT has never publicly said that it

Russian TV: Council of Europe a “gay park” and warnings of a “big war” in Ukraine

By EU vs Disinfo This is our weekly summary of the main topics on Russia’s most watched TV news channels. The news shows’ agenda in Russia is carefully attuned to serve the Kremlin’s needs. Therefore, following Russian state controlled media sheds light on our understanding of how the Kremlin seeks to influence the Russian-speaking audience in Russia and beyond. Read our story here. Our monitoring of pro-Kremlin disinformation also reveals that many

New Laboratory for Russia’s Internet Censors

By Coda Staff Russia’s internet censor is building its own digital laboratory to test and develop its own methods for blocking websites and other online activity, according to Izvestia. A new subdivision of the communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, will run the laboratory, as well as organize online exercise drills to prepare staff to enforce new internet regulations coming into force next month. A key concern is to find ways to block internet

Time for the ninth MH17 disinformation round

By EU vs Disinfo In the pro-Kremlin disinformation news cycle, timing is everything.  Every occasion can be used to amplify and strengthen the false message. This week’s opportunity occurred when the separatist officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic handed over “human remains and debris” from the MH17 to the Dutch investigators. One may say with good reason it took some time: Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down over Eastern

The Only Thing Catalonia and Crimea Have in Common Is the Letter C

By By Diane Francis, for Atlantic Council A Bloomberg piece in October titled “Why Catalonia Will Fail Where Crimea Succeeded” by Russian writer Leonid Bershidsky is an example of moral equivalence run amok. He compares two completely unrelated events—referenda in Crimea and Catalonia—as though they bear any similarity, and as though they carry the same moral weight. “The Catalan situation draws comparisons with that in Crimea in 2014, and they are

Kremlin Watch Briefing. 10 October 2017

Topics of the Week Federica Mogherini now claims that the EU is using sufficient means and resources and cannot take the Russian threat more seriously. As we stated in the Open Letter of European security experts, the EEAS East STRATCOM Team must be at least tripled in size and receive a budget in the single millions of EUR, so it can start fulfilling its mandate in real terms. Only three

Facebook Is Starting a New Test to Provide Context About Articles

By Andrew Anker, Sara Su, and Jeff Smith, Facebook Today we are starting a new test to give people additional context on the articles they see in News Feed. This new feature is designed to provide people some of the tools they need to make an informed decision about which stories to read, share, and trust. It reflects feedback from our community, including many publishers who collaborated on its development

Russia abducts activist from Ukraine, charges him with involvement in Ukrainian organization

By Halya Coynash, Human Rights in Ukraine Oleksandr Shumkov has become the latest Ukrainian to be abducted to Russia and imprisoned.  There is a major question mark over how the 28-year-old civic activist came to be in Russia, but it would be difficult to dispute the surreal nature of the charges.  The Ukrainian is accused of involvement in a Ukrainian organization that only Russia calls ‘extremist’, and that is entirely

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