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.

Baltic Brutality?

By EU vs Disinfo A dark image of the Baltic states was (again), painted in pro-Kremlin disinformation this week. Firstly, the Latvian Army was accused of shooting civilians in 1991, during Latvia’s transition to independence from the Soviet Union. In a new Russian documentary covering the topic of ”pseudo-revolutions”, it is claimed that Latvian Army Officers shot civilians, ”much as the case was also on Maidan 2014” according to the movie. Of

Putin and Trump understand propaganda; their liberal opponents don’t, Moscow commentator says

By Paul Goble, Window on Eurasia An anonymous commentator on Telegram’s Red Zion channel who was picked up today by Novyye izvestiya says that both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump understand how and why propaganda works while their liberal opponents do not and thus the latter completely fail to recognize that “good sense will never defeat it.” As a result of their failure to understand the nature of propaganda, he continues, “the

Scottish sheriff slams Russia’s fake justice system

By Sarah Hurst (@XSovietNews), for StopFake Russian state witnesses used ad hominem attacks and whataboutism – standard tactics by Vladimir Putin’s regime – in a failed attempt to achieve the extradition of Russian businessman Alexander Shapovalov from Scotland. Instead, the sheriff overseeing the case accepted volumes of well-researched evidence from two highly-respected British experts on human rights cases in Russia. He also gave a devastating account of how Russia’s justice

What Putin says about rights and freedoms in Russia vs. the facts

By Polygraph Vladimir Putin President of the Russian Federation “Our mass media is free. People are free to speak out and make a name for themselves as representatives of many political movements do.” Source: Kremlin, RU, June 4, 2018 FALSE Russia is rated “Not Free” by an independent democracy watchdog In an interview with the Austrian TV Channel ORF in the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin claimed that his government does not restrict

Russian journalist forced to resign for criticizing pro-Putin propaganda on Instagram

By Global Voices On May 24, 2018, reporter Alexandra Terikova was forced to resign for posting an Instagram video of kindergarten students singing a song for Russian president Vladimir Putin and then giving an interview about it to an independent channel. Terikova, who works with N1, a small local TV network in Nizhnevartovsk in western Siberia, posted a video of her daughter and other children in their nursery school singing a song

Austrian TV confronts Putin with the issue of disinformation

By EU vs Disinfo Ahead of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Vienna on 5 June – his first trip to the EU after he was re-elected – Austria’s national public service broadcaster, ORF, sent journalist Armin Wolf to Moscow to record an interview with the Russian president. A transcript has been made available in English on the official Kremlin website. A unique opportunity  A number of Armin Wolf’s questions to Putin directly addressed the issue of disinformation.

Zika rumors got three times more shares than real Zika stories. What can health educators do?

By Laura Hazard Owen, for NiemanLab The growing stream of reporting on and data about fake news, misinformation, partisan content, and news literacy is hard to keep up with. This weekly roundup offers the highlights of what you might have missed. Blame and pesticides. Fake health news gets less attention than fake political news (and inaccurate science stuff has been shared to Facebook as long as there’s Facebook), but it’s a fascinating thing to

Putin says Russia has not left the G-7 – not true

By Polygraph Vladimir Putin President, Russia “We did not leave it [G-7], our colleagues refused to come to Russia due to known reasons at some point. Please, we will be glad to see everyone in Moscow.” Source:, June 10, 2018 PARTIALLY FALSE Russia declared its withdrawal in 2017 During a press conference in Qingdao, China on Sunday Vladimir Putin said that Russia has not left G-7 – the claim is false.

Disinfo analysis: Macedonia – to be or not to be… Russia’s satellite

By Polygraph The small Balkan nation of Macedonia is increasingly a destination for the Kremlin’s political strategists, the ideologists of Russian exceptionalism and Moscow’s Orthodox mission in the Slavic world and in Eurasia.   The think-tank and instructors giving lectures and providing training in Macedonia are the same ones that the Kremlin employed in its hybrid war prior to the annexation of Crimea and later in the destabilization of the Ukrainian east, as well

TASS omits key comments by the Austrian chancellor, putting a positive Russian spin on his meeting with Putin

By Polygraph TASS Russian State News Agency TASS HEADLINE: Austrian chancellor calls Russia superpower, stresses its role for peace.(Later in the article): Russia plays a big role in Syria and in the east of Ukraine, according to Sebastian Kurz. Source: TASS MISLEADING The article omits much of the context from Chancellor Kurz’s comments. On June 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Austria, marking his first trip to a Western European country

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