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

Czar Putin wants a new age of empires

Ukraine Alert by Nataliia Popovych and Danylo Lubkivsky, for Atlantic Council Russian ruler Vladimir Putin is currently in the twentieth year of his reign – and he is not going anywhere. On the contrary, the Kremlin strongman has just staged a fig leaf referendum that will enable him to remain in power until 2036. Tellingly, in the weeks preceding the vote, Putin offered the Russian public no grand vision for the future

Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

By Adrian Bardon, for NiemanLab Bemoaning uneven individual and state compliance with public health recommendations, top U.S. COVID-19 adviser Anthony Fauci recently blamed the country’s ineffective pandemic response on an American “anti-science bias.” He called this bias “inconceivable,” because “science is truth.” Fauci compared those discounting the importance of masks and social distancing to “anti-vaxxers” in their “amazing” refusal to listen to science. It is Fauci’s profession of amazement that amazes me. As

China’s disinformation threat is real. We need better defences against state-based cyber campaigns

By Sarah Morrison, Belinda Barnet, James Martin, for The Conversation The Australian government recently announced plans to establish the country’s first taskforce devoted to fighting disinformation campaigns, under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Last week, Foreign Minister Marise Payne accused China and Russia of “using the pandemic to undermine liberal democracy” by spreading disinformation to manipulate social media debate. “Where we see disinformation, whether it’s here, whether it’s in the Pacific,

Brian Whitmore: Putin unmasked

By Brian Whitmore, for CEPA In the midst of an abysmally managed crisis, the Russian leader argues that he should rule forever. Why? Because he should. Vladimir Putin got caught telling the truth. In an interview with state television this weekend, the Kremlin leader said constitutional amendments that would effectively make him president for life were necessary because if he left office on schedule in 2024 it would disrupt “the normal rhythm”

How the Kremlin tries to play US protests

By Kseniya Kirillova, for Byline Susan Rice, a national security adviser in the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, has said that Russia could be behind the riots that began in the U.S. after the death of African American George Floyd during his detention by police. This statement immediately provoked outrage and ridicule from the Kremlin media. On the one hand, the scepticism about Rice’s statement is understandable. The Russian special

Kaspersky’s charm offensive: A Russian cybersecurity company launches a PR campaign

By Dr. Solvita Denisa-Liepniece, for CEPA Kaspersky is popular in Russia, less so elsewhere. Vladimir Putin called the cybersecurity company’s founder, Eugene Kaspersky, Russia’s answer to Elon Musk. The KGB-trained software expert founded the company (then known as Kaspersky Lab) in 1997; it became one of the most popular antivirus program providers in the world.  Recently, it has had a rough ride. The U.S. has banned its software for government use.

COVID is not the only virus: Russian cyberattacks are hardening Europe’s resolve​

By Franklin Holcomb, for CEPA The Kremlin uses its cyber toolkit to spread political disunity, delegitimize and destabilize national governments, and compromise European security. Russia’s operations target everything from European civil society and state institutions to energy and transport companies and banks. European states and EU institutions are hardening their cyber defenses but the Russian government has yet to be deterred.  Germany has recently taken the lead in the EU in responding to Russian cyber aggression. On May 13, Angela Merkel revealed that hackers linked to the GRU

Brian Whitmore: Propaganda labs

By Brian Whitmore, for CEPA Covid-19 Has Revived the Freddy Krueger of Kremlin Disinformation Narratives  For years, Kremlin-backed media and surrogates have been vilifying laboratories in former Soviet countries participating in the U.S. Department of Defense’s Biological Threat Reduction Program, which helps partner countries counter the threat of infectious disease outbreaks. Regime mouthpieces at home and abroad have persistently, and incorrectly, characterized such facilities as “biological weapons laboratories.” A perennial target

Propaganda backfire: the Kremlin’s conspiracy theories undermine its own authority

By Kseniya Kirillova, for Byline By supporting theories aimed at destabilising the US during the Coronavirus pandemic, Kseniya Kirillova reports on how Putin has opened up a Pandora’s Box at home. According to a survey conducted by the Higher School of Economics at the end of May, a third of Russians (32.8%) believe that the danger of the Coronavirus pandemic is exaggerated or consider it to be an invention of “interested parties”.

A bad day in court for NS2: litigation, disinformation, and Russia’s energy weapon

By Alan Riley, for CEPA Nord Stream 2 is in battle mode. The Russian-German gas project appears to be applying every possible legal argument and procedure to ensure the Baltic Sea pipeline will operate on its terms, i.e. unfettered by European Union law. In the German courts, it is challenging the German energy regulator, the BNetzA, which denied it a derogation (get-out) from the market liberalization mandated by the EU Gas Directive.

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