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.

The corrosive effect of online propaganda channels in Slovakia

By Miroslava Sawiris, for Disinfo Portal For many observers in Slovakia as well as abroad, the Slovak presidential election in March was a glimmer of hope. The vote and its outcome stood in stark contrast to the current sociopolitical climate prevailing across much of Europe and the United States, characterized by the strong influence of populism, nationalism, and resurgent far-right politics in deeply polarized societies. The unlikely victory of Zuzana

Kremlin Watch Briefing: Half of Europeans potentially exposed to disinformation before the elections

Topics of the Week Half of Europeans may have been exposed to disinformation on social media linked to Russia according to an online security company. While the United States intensifies its efforts to counter Russian cyber-attacks in allied countries, it might be overlooking significant loopholes in its own justice system. More and more countries are trying to fulfil their goals by leveraging digital tools and social media networks to spread disinformation, including Iran, North Korea,

#EUelections2019: Pro-Kremlin narratives in Latvia

By Ianis Bucholtz and Solvita Denisa-Liepniece, for Disinfo Portal Latvia irks the Kremlin. In line with its claims about Ukraine, Moscow frequently accuses the Baltic state of ethnic and language discrimination against its Russian-speaking minority, glorification of Nazism, and “Russophobia.” Moscow uses local organizations and individuals to lend as often as possible an organic, Latvian-grown appearance to these sentiments, which are picked up and popularized by pro-Kremlin media. The cycle

RT forced to withdraw disinformation

By EU vs Disinfo RT’s Russian service has been forced to make changes to an article, in which it accused Deutsche Welle, RFE/RL and Voice of America as well as the Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny’s team of spreading disinformation. As reported by Meduza in English and in German by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, RT’s claims appeared in a report about a video allegedly showing Moscow’s Sheremetevo Airport personnel rejoicing over the tragic catastrophe, which on 5

Russian Defense Ministry TV Host Falsely Slaps West for Russophobic Propaganda

By Polygraph Nikolai Petrov TV Zvezda Host “Here, by the way, is the perfect, freshest example of such fanning of a hybrid war. It is a recent report by the RAND Corporation — financed, by the way, by the U.S. Defense [Department] – regarding so-called hybrid Russian aggression in the Baltic states. The report is, in essence, war propaganda and frightening the population about the inevitability of Russian intervention in

German peace prize to Ukrainian journalist Kotsaba is discredited by the Russian lies he parrots, not just his anti-Semitism

By Halya Coynash, for Human Rights in Ukraine The decision to award the 2019 Aachen Peace Prize to Ukrainian journalist and  blogger Ruslan Kotsaba is in question because of a shocking anti-Semitic video posted by Kotsaba in 2011. The video certainly contains deeply offensive hate speech, yet it is by no means the only reason why the choice of Kotsaba seems bafflingly inappropriate. The award might possibly have seemed a

#EUelections2019: How the Kremlin exploits German politics

By Julian Röpcke, for Disinfo Portal With the European elections only three weeks away, the Kremlin and its media are once again ramping up their attempts to influence the political debate in Germany and exploit the situation for their benefit. As in previous election campaigns, Kremlin media undertake the difficult task of portraying Putin’s Russia as a “good neighbor” of Germany while simultaneously exacerbating the country’s political and social tensions.

Task Force update: Russian interference continues post-election

By David J.Kramer, for Ukrainian Election Task Force Just days following the April 21 second round of the pivotal presidential election in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered expedited passports and citizenship to Ukrainians in the Russian-occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. He subsequently extended the offer to Ukrainians who might want to take advantage of such an opportunity. To combat the Kremlin’s latest attempt to interfere in Ukraine’s internal

The half-truth, a little of the truth and a lot of stuff besides the truth

By EU vs Disinfo Sometimes facts can be disinformation. Taken out of context, a quote, a number, a statement or a picture can be deceiving, while factually correct. Lies work more effectively, when they are supported by something factual; something real, something true. A picture, published by the pro-Kremlin disinformation outlet Sputnik, is a good example of this. Two smiling young men, in front of the burning Notre Dame. The

Children as a tool: How Russia militarizes kids in the Donbas and Crimea

By Iryna Matviyishyn, for Atlantic Council With an eye to the future, officials in the Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine are waging a campaign of “patriotic education” aimed at reaching the hearts and minds of those most susceptible to ideological persuasion: children. Russia has always used the militarization of public life to indoctrinate local populations and continues that practice today. Currently, thousands of children in the Donbas and Crimea are subject

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