Russia, Ukraine

Is Putin Starting World War 3?

Somebody asked that question, today, and I just had to answer.  Not being a government official, not having an employer that might be embarrassed, I waded into it.  Here is what I wrote.

Is Putin Starting World War 3?

Not no, but hell no, Putin is not starting WW 3.

Putin understands Reflexive Control and Maskirovka, two essential elements of everything he’s done since March 2014, in my opinion. Reflexive control is where an adversary will react in a certain predictable fashion to a friendly action, for instance. At the same token, he knows the West will not act and cross certain thresholds without a modicum of knowledge of what is happening. In the case of Crimea, Russia took advantage of a chaotic situation, a coup, followed by an unelected government, with no clear handover of authority. The Polite Green Men, we all knew were Russian soldiers, but nobody could “prove it”. We knew the Black Sea Fleet that was stationed in Crimea was probably their birthing point, but we couldn’t prove it. Russia’s rhetoric kept us off-balance, “prevent a NATO takeover”, “protect the Russian language”, these were subtle provocations which were enough for that situation. Then Russian Special Forces and FSB probably whipped up support, paid some people to demonstrate and a so-called ‘popular uprising’ began. If course the big things were 1, cyber connectivity was almost zero, taken out the first day. 2, Russian ‘media’ had almost total control, 3, Western media was kept out, except for Simon Ostrovsky and 4, Russian media was hyper-saturating all information feeds with their version of events.

It is a somewhat similar situation in Donbas, but the B team is in charge, too many assumptions were made and too many clowns were recruited as leaders.

Long term, Putin does not want World War 3, no leader could or should. Putin wants to assert long-term dominance at extremely minimal costs. A full-scale invasion would be too costly in both the short and long-term, in numerous different ways. The damage to Russia’s image is currently fairly bad, a full-scale invasion would irrevocably damage it for decades.

Russia’s propaganda machine is excellent, second to none. There is little difference between what Russia does and what the Soviets did, except Russia now is much more sophisticated, much more synchronized and they have much better and newer tools. Trolls for instance, that is a fairly new development. What does it accomplish? Nothing, except it sometimes undermines public perception. What does the propaganda do? Nothing but public perception, again, which the policy makers should see through and are only occasionally hoodwinked.

Long term? The Russians are going to vacillate between saber-rattling of nukes through statements by the government leaders, and pleading that Russia is the victim. Just shy of that forbidden threshold, just short of war. They’ll drive NATO country budgets through the roof and delight in calling it ‘an excessive buildup designed to provoke Russia’.

Until… until someone loses their temper and slaps the every living crap out of.. Oops. Not diplomats. Nosiree and not our government leaders, either. Even though I’m sure every one of them harbors a silent fantasy of slapping Vladimir Vladimirovitch upside the head and stomping on his little teensy weensy…

CounterPropaganda, Propaganda, Russia, Ukraine

Counter Russian Propaganda Compilation for 28 June 2015 – Part Deux

Drunk Russian Soldiers

28 June 2015 – Part Deux

Russia is piling on the propaganda, fast and furiously.  A lot of their stuff is crap, much is completely fabricated and the rest is pure propaganda – a kernel of truth wrapped in lies/fabrications, mistruths, and deception – for national political purposes.

The one that irks me is:

This article almost admits that Maidan was completely spontaneous, something the Russians have built a foundation upon where they blame the US for fomenting the coup. Sputnik news, admit it?

Russian Propaganda

Counter Russian Propaganda

ISIS Propaganda



Information operations #UKR Update – 282145UTC June 2015

CounterPropaganda, Propaganda, Russia, Ukraine

Counter-Russian Propaganda Compilation for 28 June 2015

This is the Black Sea and Uncle Sam is looking thru spyglass on USSR with a sign “Provocation” on it, standing on US ships. “Provocation”? Some things never change. Russia – “yada, yada, yada, provocation, yada…”

28 June 2015

Highlighted development

  • Ukraine Masses Troops on Border With Transnistria
  • Ukraine is now blockading Transnistria, Crimea and Donbas. Two things are happening, as a result. One, Russian plans for invading from each of these areas is hampered. Two, costs for operating in those areas by the Russians just increased severely. Ukraine President Poroshenko is publicly telling about 60,000 soldiers being sent to face Donbas, but I haven’t seen the numbers of Ukrainians facing Crimea and Transnistria. Transnistria’s border with Ukraine is very wide, so is Donbas. 60,000 Ukrainians defending the Donbas border might not be enough, especially without American anti-tank weapons and lots and lots and lots of them.

Ukraine Culture

  • This has got to irritate the Russians to no end; Ukraine has a culture that Russia does not. This negates Russian claims of culture and history over Ukraine.
  • Ht to ck: This is circulating in the Ukrainian media at the moment and generating a lot of traffic. A photography studio, the “Third Rooster Studio” [], has been jointly with a team of designers, recreating long lost folk dress from the regional rural areas of Ukraine. This involves collecting samples from local museums, and archaic early 20th century photos, to regenerate the original dress [].

    As noted in earlier mailouts, this is a cultural practice originating in Viking era Scandinavia, with some of the rural Scandinavian folk dress looking very similar today. The Viking’s southernmost colony, the Kievan Rus, clearly embellished the practice over the 700 years following the establishment of the Viking colony in Kiev, while urbanised Scandinavia largely lost the practice.

    There is nothing like this in Russian culture, and this reflects the cultural and political schism 800 years ago when Muscovy split away from Ukraine, then the Kievan Rus. The status of women in Ukrainian culture is much closer to that seen in Scandinavia, than in Russia, as this is also reflected in the much higher proportion of women in Ukraine holding public offices, or indeed putting on uniforms and joining the men in combat – the Shield Maiden tradition from the Viking/Varangian era.

    Attached a collection harvested off the studio’s Facebook page, including some of the original early 20th century photos used as templates. Metadata stripped off the photos so no idea what equipment was used, but clearly professional. These folks will have no trouble selling calendars or glossy photo books.

    Cutest shot is IMHO the child holding the baby goat.

  • Russia fail.

Counter ISIS

Counter-Russian Propaganda

Now contrast the tone of counter-Russian propaganda to Russian propaganda. Accusatory, war-like, haughty and sometimes racist. Take a look at the propaganda pictures at the end.

Russian propaganda (A LOT of it!)

Propaganda humor

Older Russian Anti-Ukraine, anti-Semitic, and anti-US propaganda art (Unknown origin and dates)

Russ 3 Russ 2 Russ 1

Finland, Russia

This is What Pro-Russia Internet Propaganda Feels Like – Finns Have Been Tricked into Believing in Lies

This excellent article by Jessikka Aro on YLE Kioski provides an excellent overview of Russian Information Warfare and the fairly new phenomenon called Russian trolls.

Ms. Aro provides us a peek into what Russia is doing to the Finns, but also highlights the effects of this new tool.

Jessikka also shares some of the common phrases used by the Russian trolls, they appear to be the same all over the world. They are usually damaging to a civilized person, chilling, startling and to the average person, renders the person incapable of an intelligent response.

Jessikka sprinkles little tidbits of information throughout her article, yet keeps a coherent story line from beginning to end.

This is a great reminder for anyone who has dealt with Russian trolls, it is also required reading for anyone just entering this fight.

ht to mj

ps. I received feedback from the author, she’s thrilled that her article was well received!  She also shared that her investigation resulted in lots of presumably Russians trolling her.

Kudos to you, Jessikka!  Outstanding article!


Trolls distributing pro-Russia propaganda online have silenced Finns as well as sown fear and distrust.

In addition to this, the pro-Russia Internet lobbyists have manipulated the conceptions of Finns about the events in Ukraine and the actions of Russia, and Also blurred the line between the truth and lies. The information in this article is based on the accounts of Finns request sent to Yle, observations made is a discussion forum, and the interviews of several experts.

Many Finns describe they have been scared by trolling and stopped following topics Concerning Russia and discussing Russia altogether Because of it.  In the previous article ,  we Revealed the most popular websites and modes of action of anonymous propaganda Distributors.

One Finn described the massive flood of trolling messages as “overpowering” and said they / she was forced to give up online debating Because of it.

Another one says they / she Usually pulls away from the discussions Because He / she “is a PEACE loving person.” One person who discussed Ukraine and Crimea online says they / she suffered fits of fear on anonymous pro-Russia profiles had called him / her names and threatened to “silence” him / her.




The reactions of Finns are not only Alarming but Also understandable. The goal of propaganda, name-calling and lying is Specifically to have a psychological effect, says a Finnish expert who has Studied information warfare on the Internet and wishes to stay anonymous.

The effectiveness of the propaganda is based on the mode of psychological information warfare HAS ADOPTED Russia. The leading tactical doctrine is the idea of ​​”reflexive control”: with the information people are being fed, the target is to force people to make our Decisions – seemingly independently.

Seemingly independent Decisions can, for example, include not participating in Web discussions anymore, or changing one’s opinion about the actions of Russia to be more favourabl.

In addition to silencing, the objective can Also be provoking the target, or self-defense, for example, says Torsti Siren, an Adjunct Professor in the National Defence University of Finland.

– If the target of accusations defends himself or herself in public, the opponent gets publicity. And if the target continues the debate or calls the opponent names when provoked, they apr be targeted with complaints and taken to court, says Sirén.

During the war Ukraine, Siren has, on his statements about Russia, been slandered and called names like “a fascist pig” in the social media and blogs.

– However, it seems name-calling and slandering Usually backfires on the name callers Themselves.Finns are conscious and educated people and understand what is propaganda and what is not. So let them just go ahead and call other people names, says Sirén.

A third English expert subscribes to Siren’s view on what the objective of trolls is. They strive for Eliminating conversationalists That reveal Russia’s actions or are other wise Competent In Their discussion, by ruining Their reputation.

It’s a well known psychological fact-That it’s a lot Easier to Enhance a negative image than to refute it – even if there are Attempts to distribute new information.

– If you’ve managed to create a very negative reaction in a person, the person will have a negative attitude towards the same thing in the future, as well, says an expert who wants to remain in the anonymous Because of his / her work. He / she has Also been targeted with pro-Russia trolling is social media.

The end result is the same Whether the one harassing people online or distributing disinformation is a paid professional troll, or someone distributing propaganda for other reasons – Which there are a lot of forums is used by Finns.

Continue reading

CounterPropaganda, Propaganda, Russia, Ukraine

Counter Russian Propaganda Compilation for 27 June 2015

Drunk Russian soldiers

27 June 2015

Quick Update

  • It’s Saturday, and journalists don’t take weekends off, but the level of rhetoric has fallen dramatically. Dmitry Tymchuk’s updates are delayed by four days. Very strange.
  • The trolls on Facebook are  quieter than normal. No hateful language.  Amazing.
  • The trolls on LiveLeak are downvoting all kinds of comments, but their activities are way, way down…


Counter Russian Propaganda

Russian Propaganda

Refugees exposé. Sputnik is either lying and making up numbers or they have no fact checkers. Either way, it’s bad journalism.

Sputnik is carrying a number of 900,000 fleeing Ukraine. Last fall it was one million. This past spring it was 2 million. Did they all just return to Ukraine? If I caught that, why didn’t Sputnik? Where is Sputnik’s professional journalism?