Opinions

This article represents personal opinions of the author. Stopfake editors may not share this opinion.

Fighting infection and malign influence: The Baltic response to the COVID-19 crisis

By Réka Szemerkényi, for CEPA Past week’s CEPA webinar with the Baltic ambassadors to the United States highlighted the wider impact of the coronavirus pandemic on regional cooperation, the EU, and transatlantic security. The participants were Jonatan Vseviov (Estonia), Māris Selga (Latvia) and Rolandas Kriščiūnas (Lithuania). The following are the highlights of that conversation, condensed and paraphrased for clarity.  The crisis is common. The virus does not discriminate between countries

The news media sounded the alarm on coronavirus for months — but few listened. Why?

“It’s clear that the public’s lack of trust in journalism generally mirrors the public’s lack of trust in coronavirus journalism specifically.” By Jacob L. Nelson, for The Conversation Since the COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, China, journalists at the biggest U.S. news organizations have diligently reported on the many dangers posed by its rapid spread. Yet even as entire states — like California and New York — shut down, many

All’s fair in love and war: Democracy in a state of emergency

By Corina Rebegea, for CEPA In the fight with the global COVID-19 crisis, many leaders are adopting a wartime discourse. The measures imposed—lockdowns, postponed elections, and surveillance—buy time, but they go beyond anything most people in the Western world have seen since the 1940s. Alarm bells are sounding in some quarters about that. Hungary’s state of emergency is particularly draconian. Groups such as Freedom House and Access Now are urging

Moscow’s territorial virus: Countering the Kremlin’s incapacitation of Ukraine

By Janusz Bugajski, for CEPA ​The recent announcement in Kyiv by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Chief of Staff that the government is willing to enter into negotiations with Russia’s proxies controlling parts of the Donbas illustrates how Russia’s subversion of Ukraine resembles the spread of a virus. The infection may be barely noticeable at the outset but can stealthily expand until it paralyses a targeted state and amputates its territories. The

COVID-19: to counter misinformation, journalists need to embrace a public service mission

By Stephen Cushion, for The Conversation As COVID-19 spreads globally, so has misinformation about how to counter it. From politicians downplaying the risk it poses to public health to journalists tweeting false claims about who can be infected, reporting the coronavirus reminds us of the importance of accurate and impartial journalism. In the UK, broadcasters have generally been cautious in their coverage of the global pandemic. We have seen more

For the Kremlin, COVID-19 is not just a crisis, it’s an opportunity

By Brian Whitmore, for CEPA A longstanding goal of Vladimir Putin’s regime is to replace the liberal rules-based international order with one based on spheres of influence, great power imperialism, and limited sovereignty for small states. Now a Kremlin-connected pundit is arguing that the pandemic, and the havoc that it is unleashing, could advance that goal. In a commentary for the Kremlin mouthpiece Izvestia, provocatively titled “Coronavirus Instead Of War,”

“If you want to know, you can know”

By EU vs Disinfo Nataliya Gumenyuk is a Ukrainian journalist and the author of the book The Lost Island, which was published in Kyiv in February 2020. The Lost Island presents a collection of reportage articles from Crimea, written by Nataliya Gumenyuk in the course of the six years since Russia’s illegal annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula. The Book has so far been published in Ukrainian, translated into Russian and is available

Moscow triangle: Russia, the European far right, and the “Third Party” to tango noir

By Anton Shekhovtsov, for CEPA Relations between various Russian actors and European far-right parties have been the focus of many discussions in the mainstream media and expert publications in recent years. There are several main explanations for this. First, concerns about Russian actors’ cooperation with the European far right are part of more general concerns about Russia’s interference in the political and, in particular, the electoral processes in the West,

Putin is changing the Russian Constitution for his own ends

By Kseniya Kirillova, for Byline Times Kseniya Kirillova analyses the new laws which enshrine the Russian President’s future power, control of the past and attempts to mobilise Russian expansion. As expected, the Russian State Duma and Federation Council approved amendments to the Constitution on 11 March. The revision of the supreme law began on 15 January, with the first package of amendments proposed by Vladimir Putin. In the weeks which

On pandemics and alliances

By Edward Lucas, for CEPA Truth and cooperation on one side; lies and selfishness on the other. Which side will beat the coronavirus? Put that way, it is easy to place your bets. Pathogens do not listen to propaganda. They have no conception of national borders. The only way to beat them is with science and through social organization. That means officials telling the truth to the public, thus encouraging

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