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 Double White Lines of Russian Journalism

By EU vs Disinfo In Russia, the “red lines” which define the limits to what journalists can write or say, are often referred to as the “double white lines”. Like in traffic, if media outlets cross the double white lines, they put themselves in danger and may be punished. Novaya Gazeta vs. the trolls Two weeks ago, we described how the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta was targeted with harassment and intimidation ahead

Waiting for the deep fakes

By EU vs Disinfo While the international expert community is busy discussing what the “deep fakes” of the future will look like, employees at the infamous St. Petersburg troll factory still stick to old-fashioned tricks. Last month the troll factory’s Russian language media arm, the news agency RIA FAN, presented an audio recording of what it claimed was the voice of an American military officer; however, the person’s accent and general command of English made

Putin Spokesman Wrongly Calls Western Sanctions ‘Illegal’

By Polygraph Dmitry Peskov Russian presidential spokesman “Sanctions conform to international law. In this case, we don’t recognize those unilateral restrictions as legitimate sanctions because we deem them to be illegal. So it will probably be more correct to say ‘limitations’ or ‘restrictions,’ but not sanctions.” Source: Television Rain, November 14, 2018 FALSE Russian appeals to international law on sanctions are wrong-headed During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s two-day state visit

Are Americans controlling German media?

By Polygraph Igor Morozov Senator, Russian Council of Federation “The media in Germany is largely dependent on their owners in the United States. Today, none of the chief editors of leading media organizations can be appointed to the position unless they have completed a half-year internship in the American media outlets.” Source: Federal News Agency, November 18, 2018 FALSE German media owners and journalists dispute the claim Russian Senator Igor Morozov’s comments

Seven Commandments of Fake News – New York Times exposes Kremlin’s methods

By EU vs Disinfo A three-series multimedia project by the New York Times reveals how current Kremlin disinformation campaigns stem from a long tradition of weaponizing information. Titled “Operation Infektion”, the series tells the story of a “political virus”, invented decades ago by the KGB to “slowly and methodically destroy its enemies from the inside”, and which the Kremlin continues to deliberately spread to this day. EU vs Disinfo takes

Kremlin Watch Briefing: The Kremlin failed to take over Interpol

KREMLIN WATCH IN THE MEDIA An article for The American Interest describes the Kremlin’s relationship with Czech President Miloš Zeman and its potential influence to orchestrate future energy deals in the Czech Republic with Rosatom. European Values director Jakub Janda is quoted: “The President’s office is blackmailing the Prime Minister that if he fails to award the CZK 150-200 billion ($6.6-8.8 billion) to the Russians, he will lose Zeman’s support, who will then destroy his coalition

Moscow claims ‘sham’ Donbas election stems chaos it sowed

By Polygraph Maria Zakharova Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson “After the murder of [former DNR leader] Alexander Zakharchenko under the conditions of a possible vacuum of power, there was a real risk of the total destabilization of the situation in southeastern Ukraine…. The holding of elections made it possible to avoid such a scenario.” Source: Tass News Agency, November 15, 2018 FALSE Moscow falsely claims stability in eastern Ukraine, despite its

New York Times sheds light on decades-old tradition of Kremlin disinformation campaign

By EU vs Disinfo A three-series multimedia project by the New York Times reveals how current Kremlin disinformation campaigns stem from a long tradition of weaponizing information. Titled “Operation Infektion”, the series tells the story of a “political virus”, invented decades ago by the KGB to “slowly and methodically destroy its enemies from the inside”, and which the Kremlin continues to deliberately spread to this day. EU vs Disinfo takes

Oxford’s Word of the Year: Toxic

By VoANews It’s official: 2018 is toxic. Oxford Dictionaries has chosen “toxic” as its international word of the year. Oxford University Press monitors changes in the English language and each year selects a word that catches the annual mood. Oxford’s lexicographers said it’s “the sheer scope of its applications that has made it the standout choice.” Traditionally defined as “poisonous,” Oxford said people are also using the word to describe

How The Wall Street Journal is preparing its journalists to detect deepfakes

By Francesco Marconi and Till Daldrup, for NiemanLab “We have seen this rapid rise in deep learning technology and the question is: Is that going to keep going, or is it plateauing? What’s going to happen next?” Artificial intelligence is fueling the next phase of misinformation. The new type of synthetic media known as deepfakes poses major challenges for newsrooms when it comes to verification. This content is indeed difficult

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