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.

Russian TV Airs Video Of U.S. ‘Spy’ Altercation Outside Embassy

Russian television has made a fresh sally in an ongoing diplomatic dustup between Washington and Moscow, airing purported footage of an altercation outside the U.S. Embassy between a Russian guard and a U.S. diplomat who Moscow says was a spy returning from a mission. The video, broadcast by Gazprom subsidiary NTV, shows a uniformed man spring from a guard station and tackle the diplomat after the latter exits a taxi

Russia’s Internet Watchdog Blocks Sites Calling for Election Boycott

Russia’s Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor has blocked four websites that called for mass boycotts of the upcoming State Duma elections, it stated in a message posted on its website. Roskomnadzor said that it received a request to block the sites from the Prosecutor General’s Office. “Reasons [for blocking the websites] include the publication of propaganda material intended to promote among the Russian people the idea of boycotting the State Duma elections.”In

Kremlin Watch Monitor. July 4, 2016

Weekly update on Kremlin disinformation efforts in Europe The Washington Post reported that harassment of the U.S. ambassadors and their diplomatic staff in Russia and other European countries by the Russian intelligence services significantly increased, from following diplomats and their families to even breaking into their homes. According to the spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Washington, those actions are reciprocal. Vladimir Yakunin, Russian businessman and associate of President Vladimir

How BuzzFeed wants to use its social media acumen to take on the hoaxers

A new, global beat led by Craig Silverman is aiming to apply how BuzzFeed makes stories go viral to debunking fake news, Alastair Reid wrote for First Draft. Almost a year to the day after launching its Canadian edition, BuzzFeed announced this week that it would be closing its Ottawa bureau and re-locating staff to the US. Some outlets sold the news as BuzzFeed succumbing to the “pressure” of digital publishing

Putin associate to open ‘propaganda centre’ in Berlin

A close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin is to open a research institute in Berlin, according to Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, which said the centre would be the Kremlin’s main propaganda “factory” in Western Europe. The centre is to be opened on Friday by Vladimir Yakunin, the German paper said. The article, penned by Markus Wehner, described Yakunin as a “far-right” politician who has long been propagating an “orthodox

Russia Wants to Force Internet Companies to Cooperate With Its Surveillance System

On June 24 the Russian parliament is expected to vote new anti-terrorism measures designed to tighten the Kremlin’s grasp on the Internet. The suggested measures come from fear: The parliamentary elections scheduled for Sept. 18, 2016, are fast approaching, and social media, which was instrumental in getting protesters to streets during the December 2011 elections, is not yet under effective government control. It isn’t for lack of trying. The authorities

New Google Earth Satellite Update Confirms Presence of Buk in Eastern Ukraine

Today, Google Earth updated its historical satellite imagery to include Donetsk and Makiivka at 11:08am (local time) on July 17, 2014, the day of the downing of Flight MH17. Bellingcat has previously purchased portions of this image, with the Digital Globe catalog ID of 105041001104D000, to show that the Russian Ministry of Defense had doctored its MH17 evidence, and to search for the Buk on the H21 highway between Donetsk and Torez.

Kremlin trolls are engaged in massive anti-Ukrainian propaganda in Poland

Warsaw — Kremlin “trolls” have launched a massive campaign to discredit Ukraine and Ukrainians in the Polish Internet space. Polish analysts note that an unprecedented wave of anti-Ukrainian propaganda on the Web first appeared in 2013, shortly after the Maidan protests began in Kyiv. In order to convince the Poles that Ukrainians are their bitter enemies, the Internet trolls are repeating the views of the current Kremlin authorities hundreds of

Russia Without BS: Face to Face

I love conversion stories. Perhaps that’s because I’ve had so many myself. I consider it ridiculous that we live in a society that condemns people who change their minds as they learn more, while people who double down on their ignorant beliefs in spite of concrete evidence to the contrary attract throngs of followers. This is why I loved this story from Cracked about a chap who was a professional

Kremlin Watch Monitor ǀ June 20, 2016

After being the only allied president who denies organized Russian military presence in Ukraine, office of the Czech President has given an interview to Sputnik. To our knowledge, this is the first office of Head of Allied State to do so. It confirms our argumentations that the Czech President Miloš Zeman acts as Kremlin Trojan horse. F. Steinmeier has called allied exercise in Poland “sabre-rattling and war cries” and “counterproductive

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