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.

#EUelections2019: The EU Must Take Disinformation Seriously

By Jakub Janda, for DisinfoPortal When the EU unveiled its Action Plan against Disinformation in December 2018, some experts welcomed the plan as a good first step toward a savvier and better-equipped West. Others, however, believe that the plan came too late and that the European Commission bears the blame for not treating the threat of disinformation with the urgency and gravity it deserved. Almost five years after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent disinformation

Hyped Russian robot turns out to be Korean

By EU vs Disinfo “Russian military robots perform workout exercises in front of Putin,” the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti told in a tweet on 23 April. In its coverage of president Putin’s visit to the Suvorov School – a specialised military boarding school for boys in St. Petersburg – RIA Novosti stressed that one of the young pupils had been demonstrating “his own invention.” The problem was, however, that the robot had not been

Kremlin Watch Briefing: Can the EU limit the impact of disinformation ahead of the elections?

Topics of the Week Worth following! Atlantic Council’s DisinfoPortal launches “The Drop,” a new newsletter aiming at using global expertise to advance understanding of the threat of disinformation and to move the debate about the topic forward, towards needed solutions. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom leaves his position after being suspected of acting as a Soviet intelligence officer in the United States during the Cold

The claim on Russian state TV that NATO doubles defense spending is baseless

By Polygraph Vasyl Volha Leader, Ukrainian Political Party ‘Union of Leftists’ “All of the NATO countries are doubling their budgets starting this year.” Source: Rossiya 1, May 3, 2019 False NATO countries not doubling defense budgets On May 3, the Russian political talk show 60 Minutes aired a segment on Spring Storm, a large-scale live military exercise by the Estonian Defense Forces with participation from NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence and

Figure of the week: 52.8%

By EU vs Disinfo Proverb of a pro-Kremlin outlet: if 52.8% of respondents don’t fit into your story, just ignore them. On April 28th, RT wrote: “A Bertelsmann Foundation study found that right-wing parties with a populist, nationalist or Euroskeptic bent received the highest level of voter approval of any single political grouping. 10.3 percent of voters said they would cast their ballots for right-wing parties, while only 6.2 percent said

A disillusioned democrat

By EU vs Disinfo It is now five years since the EU began to introduce sanctions against individual key actors in Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. One of the names to appear on the EU’s lists was that of Dmitry Kiselyov. Often nicknamed “the Kremlin’s chief propagandist,” this TV host and media manager was the only Russian journalist to face a personal EU sanction over the Ukraine conflict – a decision Mr Kiselyov

Russia’s international broadcasters: Turning the Serbian media into a disinformation hub

By Polygraph Sputnik Srbija leads the ratings for political disinformation among Serbian-language foreign media operating in the Balkans, according to an upcoming report by the fact-checking organization, based in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The report, which will be released on May 13, found that the Belgrade-based Russian government-owned international broadcaster is part of a disinformation hub that targets Serbian language audiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and

Figure of the week: 400 000

By EU vs Disinfo RT’s video about the Mueller report was recommended over 400 000 times on YouTube, Washington Post reports. The research by AlgoTransparency reveals that RT’s clip was recommended to viewers looking at videos from at least 236 YouTube channels, that belong to major news corporations, fringe websites as well as pundits from across the political spectrum. The clip itself, in line with extensive pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign around

Russia Today editor hits Reuters with a false claim

By Polyhraph Margarita Simonyan Chief Editor, Rossiya Segodnya, RT “We’re showing a rally in support of Maduro in Caracas. Reuters is showing a green boulevard. Q.E.D.” Source: Telegram, May 1, 2019 False Reuters’ actually was sending live video of protests in Paris, France. The chief editor of the Kremlin’s international media corporation Rossiya Segodnya and RT (Russia Today), Margarita Simonyan, claimed on Wednesday the news agency Reuters had been broadcasting

EU Elections Update: The Long Game

By EU vs Disinfo With the European parliamentary elections approaching in less than a month’s time, we devote this week’s Disinfo Review to a brief summary of the ongoing disinformation trends surrounding the elections. First, a reminder: Russia’s disinformation campaign against the EU – and by extension, its electoral process – has been underway for five years. It is not a new feature of the European political landscape. The Kremlin’s

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